How much difference does a year make? Just ask Leicester City. A team that was simply too good to get relegated last season stormed back in 2015/16 and blew away their competition, sealing the Premier League title with two games to spare after Tottenham Hotspur drew with Chelsea on Monday night.
From dead last to the top of the table, the Foxes’ rise has been nothing short of exceptional. At 5000/1 odds, there were better odds of finding aliens than Leicester City winning the title!
A lot of credit must go to Claudio Ranieri for the way he rallied the side who had just lost a trusted manager in Nigel Pearson. The ‘Tinkerman’ did not change too much this time though and played to the team’s strengths. In doing so, they rewrote history and became only the sixth club to win the Premier League trophy – the club’s first ever league win in the English top flight.
The club have only lost thrice this season – twice against Arsenal and once against Liverpool. And the team’s success has been built on the main core of 11 players who started a minimum of 28 games. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and captain Wes Morgan have played every minute of the 36 games.
So how much has their transfer market value increased in 36 games? We take a look at how much they were worth at the start of the season and how much they are worth now.
Mahrez sees the biggest rise in market value
The defenders have not seen a huge rise in their market value. Understandably so as the Foxes were leaking goals at the start of the season, failing to keep clean sheet until Ranieri promised them a pizza party at a local restaurant.
Both Morgan and Robert Huth are also on the wrong side of 30 and will not see a significant increase in their market value. The two full-backs, Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs, also do not see too much of a rise.
However, in midfield and attack, it is a completely different story. N’Golo Kante, one of the nominees for the PFA Player of the Year, has seen a rise of €5.5m in his market value. The defensive midfielder has covered ground like no other in the league and has been instrumental in winning the ball back and initiating counter-attacks for a team that does not rely on possession. Danny Drinkwater has also seen his value double.
The tireless Jamie Vardy, currently fighting it out for the EPL Golden Boot with compatriot Harry Kane and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, has seen a €7.5m increase in his market value. While the recent two-match ban (extended from one) has hit the 29-year-old forward’s chances of winning the Golden Boot, he will not be complaining after receiving a Premier League winners medal.
The player whose transfer market value increased the most in the past year is PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez. The award was well deserved as the Algerian winger has scored 17 goals while also accumulating 11 assists so far.
The 25-year-old is already a target for top clubs around Europe and has seen an astounding €18m rise in his market value. Will he stay put at Leicester City? He has a contract till the summer of 2019. Therefore, he will command a much higher price if they are to prise him away from Leicester.
But then again, why would one leave the champions of England when they have a chance to continue their fairytale in the Champions League next season?
|Position||Player||Age||Market Value before season||Market Value now|
|Right Back||Danny Simpson||29||€2m||€3m|
|Centre Back||Wes Morgan||31||€1.5m||€2.5m|
|Centre Back||Robert Huth||31||€5m||€6m|
|Left Back||Christian Fuchs||30||€3m||€4.5m|
Data from TransferMarkt