The Premier League’s top six has been a fairly gated community for some time now.
But next season, next season, we might just have a gatecrasher on our hands.
Brendan Rodgers was scorned for having the audacity to leave a ‘great institution’ like Celtic for ‘mid-table mediocrity’ like Leicester.
But can anyone blame him now?
Rodgers has at his disposal an intriguing blend of youth and experience and arguably possesses seven or eight players that would easily make the Spurs, Man United and Arsenal starting line ups.
Like, comfortably make them.
In Ricardo Pereira – Leicester’s Player of the Year – and Ben Chilwell, the Foxes boast perhaps the second best full-back combination in the league behind Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at Liverpool.
Unlike some of his fellow international team-mates who captured hearts and minds at the World Cup, Harry Maguire has actually built on his performances with another impressive season.
In front of him Wilfred Ndidi is unmovable, rapidly developing into one of the most reliable destructive midfielders in England. Oh, and he’s still just 22.
Then come the real gems.
James Maddison has a bit of the Beckhams about him and the fact he’s created more chances than anyone else this season further fuels that comparison.
The Foxes’ number 10 is unsurprisingly attracting interest from elsewhere, with Spurs reportedly looking at him as a like-for-like replacement for Christian Eriksen.
Then there’s Youri Tielemans, who Spurs AND Arsenal allegedly turned their noses up at in January.
The Belgian has all the hallmarks to make it anywhere having been involved in eight goals in 12 games since his loan move from Monaco.
Jamie Vardy’s talents are well known; still the most explosive forward in the division having turned down Arsenal in 2016 who could easily make it at higher level.
When you add Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes to that list, it’s a serious talent pool.
Man City have played Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and United on their current 13-game blitz but Leicester last night comfortably gave Pep and co. the most jitters.
The visitors were bold and brave and, but for an unfathomable moment from Vincent Kompany and Kelechi Iheanacho’s lack of composure, they could and maybe should have got something.
Kompany offered a glowing verdict of Rodgers’ in the aftermath, saying: “We were playing against, realistically, a top six team – that’s how good they are.”
Leicester are building – and building the right way – while United and Arsenal either hit the panic button or rest on their laurels.
Rodgers will be braced for a summer onslaught for some of his players but the ball is in the Foxes’ court.
Players like Maguire, Tielemans and Maddison all credit the club with honesty and integrity for giving them consistent game time.
Leicester can either keep a hold of their star names and develop or sell one or two and reinvest. It’s a win-win situation.
In Rodgers they have the kind of progressive, attacking manager young players will enjoy working with, which is a stark contract to the tedious Claude Puel era.
Vardy aside, Rodgers’ core are mainly 25 and under with bright futures ahead of them.
On the evidence we’ve seen from his reign so far they won’t just be temporary top-six party poopers, but regular invitees instead.
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