Claudio Ranieri Leicester City
Claudio Ranieri replaces Nigel Pearson at the Leicester helm Getty Images

Last season

Premier League: 14th

FA Cup: Fifth round

League Cup: Second round

Top scorer: Leonardo Ulloa (13)

Summer's work

Two headline departures have dominated the summer at the King Power Stadium, with manager Nigel Pearson getting the chop after the great escape and Esteban Cambiasso opting for the exit door rather than a new one-year contract. Robert Huth's permanent arrival was an essential for the Foxes after last season's impressive loan spell, while Christian Fuchs adds experience at left-back after signing on a free transfer. Paul Konchesky has subsequently joined Queens Park Rangers on loan.

Japan international striker Shinji Okazaki hit double figures in his two seasons with Mainz but appears a gamble at £7m ($10.9m) – his signing comes after Chris Wood left for Leeds earlier in the summer. N'Golo Kante's arrival from Caen is a coup for the club after they beat Premier League rivals to the midfielder, and he joined on the same day as centre-back Yohan Benalouane from Atalanta.

N'Golo Kante Leicester City
The Foxes beat other Premier League clubs to the signing of N'Golo Kante Getty Images

Manager – Claudio Ranieri

"The Tinkerman" is back in the Premier League more than a decade after leaving Chelsea. Popular but unsuccessful at Stamford Bridge, the Italian will need to impress supporters quickly after being appointed to replace fans' favourite Pearson.

Claudio Ranieri brings a wealth of experience to the job after spells with the likes of Valencia, Juventus, Roma and AS Monaco but whether that will help him keep Leicester in the top flight remains to be seen. The 63-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the club and will be hoping for better than in his last job, when Greece wielded the axe following one draw and four defeats in five games.

Key player – Riyad Mahrez

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez produced some eye-catching performances for Leicester last season, suggesting the £400,000 paid to Le Havre in January 2014 was some shrewd business by Pearson. Occasionally frustrating, the versatile playmaker will have to be at his creative best on a regular basis to cover the substantial loss of Cambiasso.

He has the ability to improve on his three assists and four goals in the Premier League last season and one suspects he might have to when taking a closer look at the club's midfield options. Ranieri clearly believes he has the talent, having handed the 24-year-old a new four-year contract with the club.

Riyad Mahrez Leicester City
Riyad Mahrez will need to find consistency this season Getty Images


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the loss of Cambiasso appears so significant that a 17th-place finish would be a success for many supporters. Having appeared doomed for the majority of last season, finishing 14<sup>th flattered the Foxes and anything above that would come as a surprise.

With huge financial rewards around the corner courtesy of the new television rights deal, chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will be desperate to see the club survive. He may have to reach for the cheque book once again in the coming weeks to make sure that happens.

IBT prediction – 19<sup>th

After the miracle of 2014-15, it is back to reality for Leicester and a return to the Championship looks the most likely outcome for Ranieri's side.