The Premier League kick-starts on August 5, giving Dream Team gaffers just three weeks to cement their line-ups, completely redo them, and repeat the process seventeen times.
We understand, it’s all part of the process.
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Last season’s form and results are often used as a good gauge of who should earn a coveted spot in your squads — but that needs a rethink when it comes to Leicester.
The Foxes could only muster an eighth-placed finish, losing 14 matches and ending with a paltry +3 goal difference.
On the surface that looks like a poor return for Brendan Rodgers’ side, especially considering they finished a single point outside of the Champions League places in the 2020-21 campaign.
Leicester assets were few and far between with the likes of James Justin (£2.5m) and Kelechi Iheanacho (£3m) failing to deliver monster returns.
It’s this kind of season that leads to many overlooking Leicester players in their squads – but there’s more to this story.
Leicester had the third-highest number of injuries last year, and 46 player absences in total — spanning over 1000 days collectively.
Centre-back Jonny Evans (£2.5m) missed 23 matches through injury, while defensive partner Wesley Fofana (£3m) was out for 223 days with a fibula fracture.
Talisman Jamie Vardy (£4.5m), Justin and Caglar Soyuncu (£2.5m) also missed several months of action.
Rodgers also had the extra burden of a tough Europa Conference League campaign whilst balancing injuries and trying to settle in new players.
But Leicester have all of their top performers back in rude health and no big player departures (YET!).
Ok, they’ll have no opportunities to grab points in Europe this season, but the silver lining is their Premier League form should improve.
So we at Dream Team HQ think the Foxes are primed for a big return to form, and there’s no shortage of affordable targets for managers at the King Power Stadium.
The most tempting of those options could be attacking midfielder James Maddison (£5m).
The 25-year-old had an incredible 2021-22 season for Leicester with 18 goals and 12 assists, and that could still improve in a World Cup year and with Vardy ahead of him more regularly.
Speaking of the Foxes’ No9, his minutes were managed carefully last season after suffering a hamstring and knee injury but still notched 17 goals and two assists.
All reports suggest that the 35-year-old, who takes penalties, has returned to full fitness and costs a very affordable £4.5m – the same as Wilfried Zaha!
The last player on our watchlist is Harvey Barnes (£4.5m), who managed 11 goals and 14 assists last year.
The 24-year-old was on the cusp of a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 before suffering a lengthy injury.
Leicester won three of their last four matches of last season against Norwich, Watford and Southampton by an aggregate score of 12-2.
It’s no coincidence that Leicester did that with virtually a full complement, and Barnes was the main beneficiary when registering two goals and four assists.