Leicester City could be the first team in Premier League history to be relegated as champions.
But where has it all gone wrong for the Foxes? Last season’s stunningly bizarre triumph appears to be a distant memory as Claudio Ranieri’s men sit just two points above the drop zone.
13 points from 14 games is a woeful return. This is a team that stunned the football world, and overcame odds of 5,000-1 to fend off the giants of the English game.
Subpar performances have been a staple of their 2016/17 campaign. The heroics of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are but distant memories as the spectacularly good turn to the egregiously bad for City.
If Ranieri is to be believed, an absence of luck is the factor responsible for the downward trajectory. However, former Foxes target Troy Deeney has a more pragmatic approach to the question on everyone’s lips.
Speaking to the BBC, Deeney believes it is the loss of tireless midfielder N’Golo Kante to Chelsea which is in part responsible for this season’s riches to rags story:
“Probably the biggest factor that has changed for opposition teams against Leicester this season has been in the middle of the park.
“You can get through their midfield and get at their back four a little bit easier now.
“Whenever we broke on them last season, I always had the fear factor that N’Golo Kante was coming back and I knew we didn’t have much time before he got there.
“Even if I actually did have time, I always thought he might be there, so I would rush things a bit.
“Now that element of playing Leicester has gone, and there seems to be a bit more freedom in midfield when you play them.
“It is inevitable really, unless they were to play with two dedicated defensive midfielders instead.
“I always felt Kante did the work of two players, so without him it is very hard to get the same sort of balance they had with him and Danny Drinkwater playing together.
“Kante was everywhere for them. He is still the same player now of course, getting up and down the pitch, but it is for Chelsea instead.”
Having allegedly spent somewhere in the region of £70 million over the summer, it is fair to say that the reinforcements drafted in have yet to live up to their price tags.
Adam Haynes, Pundit Arena