How will we look at Leicester City heading into next season

Throughout Leicester City’s magical run to the Barclays Premier League title this year, pundits and fans alike were looking for reasons to knock them down a peg. It started with pointing out how they had played a relatively soft schedule, the only time they were tested they failed miserably when they lost 5-2 to Arsenal. Next came let’s see how they make it through the festive period when the games come thick and fast.

After surviving the tests of the first half of the season the focus was switched to, will they keep their best players in the January transfer window? The people that said “if they can get five points from their Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal stretch in February then I’ll be ready to believe,” then turned around said, but how are they going to do now that they play lesser teams who are going to sit back and make it tough to break them down? Eventually everyone had to give in and agree, Leicester City were going to pull this off and win the league.

But now that they’ve won the league we get to look ahead to next season and everyone seems to be ready to jump right back off the Leicester bandwagon.

Immediately, takes were being thrown around that this was a one-hit wonder, that Chelsea and Manchester City will be much better next year. Leicester won’t be able to catch the league by surprise again, or the ever popular theory that “Leicester won’t be able to hold on to their players this summer.”

Here’s a question, what makes people so sure of any of those theories?

We have no proof that either Chelsea or Manchester City will be much better next year. Sure Chelsea won’t be ninth place bad again but that doesn’t mean they’ll be win the league good either. Both teams will try to spend big in the transfer market this summer, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get the overhauls that people were necessarily expecting.

But let’s get back to the laughable Leicester will have to sell their best players. Where is that coming from?

Let’s get one thing straight. If a player wants to leave Leicester this summer, manager Claudio Ranieri has already stated that he likely won’t stand in their way. Already players like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Danny Simpson, and Christian Fuchs have pledged their immediate futures to the Foxes. Why shouldn’t they? They will playing Champions League football next season with a favorable draw in Pot 1 no less. Moving to another English club would literally be a step down for any of these players.

Then there’s the notion that should a big team come calling Leicester will have to sell their stars because they need the money. Here’s a little secret between me and you. Leicester don’t actually need the money, nor are they as small of a club as you think.

Leicester isn’t exactly the cinderella story you were led to believe. Coming into the season, they were the 24th richest club in the world. Their owner is a Thai billionaire who has spent over £100 million on the club since he bought them. This is all before the Premier League’s new TV contract kicks in next season that will bring them even more money. Add in the additional revenue from the Champions League, which the new Premier League TV contract makes it look like chump change, that’s how big it is, and the notion that Leicester need to sell anyone because they need the money goes right out the window.

And if you’re worried about players leaving because they want more money. Well instead of spending that new money on bloated transfer fees, Leicester can simply turn around and spend it on increasing the wages of all their players.

Once next season rolls around, when the talk stops and the games start, who’s to say Leicester can’t do it again? This is a team that takes the entire season one game at a time. They don’t look at the big picture. They simply look at the team standing on the other side of the field and say, we can beat those guys.

I’m not going to sit here right now and say Leicester are currently the favorites to win a second straight Premier League title, only two teams have ever been able to win two in a row (Manchester United who did it four times and Chelsea who did it once).

The Foxes will certainly have a tougher time next season, especially with the additional fixtures in the Champions League. But the way things stand right now, thinking that Leicester aren’t favorites to finish in the top four once again would be foolish.

About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN