Leicester City is a true cinderella story, going from narrowly avoiding relegation last season to being in a great position to win the league title with four games remaining. Although it hasn’t always been pretty, as illustrated by Leicester having to pull out a miracle by scoring a goal in added time to simply salvage a point in their last game, it seems as if Leicester City will be able to take care of business and finish atop of the standings for the first time in team history.
The biggest question is: How? How does a team given 5000-1 odds to win the title even get into position to win the title? The answer is not simply outspending their competitors, as it often is with championship-winning teams. Leicester City’s starting XI cost approximately £20m. To put this into perspective, Manchester City’s starting XI cost about £223m. So how is Leicester City playing at such a high level with such inexpensive players? Their scouting system has been the biggest reason Leicester City has been more successful than their financially superior competition in the Premier League. This impressive scouting system is responsible for the arrival of Jamie Vardy, whose career has been revived in a breakout season with Leicester, as well as Riyad Mahrez, who was acquired from Le Havre, a team in the French second division. These finds are symbolic of the whole Leicester side; it isn’t a team based on a bunch of stars, this is a team filled with good quality players that understand they can become great by playing together as a team.
To conclude, Leicester City isn’t just a one and done team. Assuming they can retain most of their players, Leicester is here to stay. These types of teams, based more on quality players rather than expensive superstars, may start to compete more and more for the title in the English Premier League. Leicester isn’t just making history as they close it on the league title, they are potentially changing the way clubs will build their teams in the future. Leicester City’s transformation from a near relegation team to a team with title aspirations may also mark the transformation of soccer as we know it.