A new era for the Foxes? Leicester City 2023/24 Season Preview
Leicester CIty fans caught a glimpse of their side during an opening training session. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

With the Championship season getting underway this weekend we take a look at how promotion hopefuls Leicester City are shaping up as they bid for an immediate return to the Premier League.

It has been a summer of change in the East Midlands with Enzo Maresca taking the helm after a period of success as Pep Guardiola's assistant. Players have come in and some have departed, but as things stand they have managed to keep hold of some key players ahead of a vital season.

  • How they did last season

Last season was disastrous for Leicester City as they were relegated from the Premier League ending a fairytale seven-year stay. The Foxes finished 18th just two points behind Everton in 17th.

Scoring goals was never a problem for Leicester as they scored the same amount of goals as Aston Villa who qualified for the Europa Conference League. Instead, their biggest problem was keeping goals out.

Leicester rolled the dice late on in the season as they sacked Brendan Rodgers after a late defeat to Crystal Palace. Rodgers was replaced by former Aston Villa and Norwich boss Dean Smith who fought valiantly against relegation to no avail.

  • Outgoings

Any side Premier League side that is relegated to the Championship can expect a lot of transfer interest for their key players, but Leicester, in particular, had arguably the best squad ever to be relegated from the top division.

It was always expected that their big players would be looking to jump ship and find a move back to the Premier League and their two most influential players did just that with James Maddison moving to Tottenham and Harvey Barnes moving to Newcastle United.

This summer was always going to be a period of rebuild for the club whether that was in the Premier League or the Championship with multiple players out of contract, most notably Caglar Soyuncu and Youri Tielemans who have moved to Atletico Madrid and Aston Villa respectively.

Leicester also lost the likes of Nampalys Mendy, Ayoze Perez, Daniel Amartey and Jonny Evans.

  • New Signings

Amid a barrage of outgoings, there were always bound to be a whole host of incomings. The Foxes moved quickly to secure a couple of experienced players with England internationals Conor Coady and Harry Winks joining the club for a combined fee of £18m, as Leicester looked to spend some of the Maddison money.

Their third signing of the summer was the loan move for Callum Doyle from Manchester City. The young centre-back had an impressive spell at Coventry last season as they made it to the play-off final and has been signed to play on the left side of a back three at Leicester.

The goalkeeper situation at Leicester last season was a bit messy after club legend Kasper Schmeichel made a shock exit last summer. Leicester did not look to replace the Dane in the summer transfer window instead Rodgers insisted that Danny Ward was a ready-made replacement.

But the Welsh international was far too inconsistent and young goalkeeper Daniel Iversen was brought in halfway through the season. Maresca looks like he has opted to ignore both goalkeepers as he signed Mads Hermansen from Brondby for a fee of around £5m. The Danish international looks to be a ball-playing goalkeeper that will be key to Maresca's system.

Their fifth signing was former Arsenal academy player Stephy Mavididi who was signed from French side Montpellier. Leicester were in desperate need of a winger with Marc Albrighton the only senior winger at the club.

Leicester's transfer business does not appear to be finished though with Chelsea midfielder Cesare Casadei and Crystal Palace winger Jesurun Rak-Sakyi rumoured to be close to completing loan moves to the King Power Stadium this summer.

  • Manager - Enzo Maresca

Fresh off the back of a treble-winning season, Pep Guardiola's right-hand man dropped down to the Championship to spearhead Leicester's rebuild. 

The Italian manager will undoubtedly have learned a lot in his time under the Spaniard which will stand him in good stead tactically. Maresca will bring fresh ideas to a squad that is in desperate need off the back of a poor season.

Maresca did have a short spell at Parma in Italy, but after a disappointing start to the season, he was sacked and returned to Manchester. The Leicester City manager has a track record of developing young players as he lifted the Premier League 2 with Man City's development squad.

As a result of his years under Guardiola, Maresca seems to have adopted a similar formation to Man City. Leicester have been lining up in a 3-2-4-1 formation with Ricardo Pereira coming into midfield to partner up with Harry Winks.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Wilfred Ndidi have been given licenses to push forward and support the attacks with Mavididi and Albrighton operating out wide.

Strongest XI - Hermansen; Castagne, Coady, Doyle; Pereira, Winks; Mavididi, Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi, Albrighton; Iheanacho.

  • 3 Talking Points

How will their summer signings settle in?

Leicester have moved quickly to secure the signatures of Premier League quality players but they will need to adapt to the physical demands of the Championship quickly and ensure they are not complacent.

Will Enzo Maresca be another manager branching out from the Guardiola school?

Mikel Arteta, Vincent Kompany and Xavi Hernandez have all been successful after working under Guardiola, whether Maresca can replicate that remains to be seen.

Can Jamie Vardy fire Leicester back into the Premier League?

It has been nine years since Jamie Vardy last played for Leicester in the Championship. With one year left on his contract could the end to his Leicester City fairytale be a trophy lift at the end of the season?

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  • Expected Finish

Leicester have the highest wage bill in the league and have an embarrassment of riches, which makes them apparent favourites to finish top of the table.

But this season will not be as easy as some think with a club adjusting to different surroundings in a league stacked with huge clubs, there is a lot that could go wrong for the Foxes.

It will go one of two ways for Leicester. They will either walk the league and win the league by an impressive margin or they will struggle and the appointment of Maresca does not quite work. But it does look like it will work and I do expect them to win the league.

Expected Finish - 1st