Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester continue to defy expectations this season, and are currently second in the Premier league table with more than half of the season complete.
Despite only managing a draw last week in their Midlands derby against Aston Villa, the Foxes are well and truly in the title race, level on points with leaders Arsenal - behind only on goal difference.
While Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been the standout performers for the club so far, defender Christian Fuchs has quietly gone about his business and been instrumental in their success this season. If the Austrian defender can continue to play the way he has been, Ranieri’s boys can most certainly be eyeing a top four finish, if not the title itself.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
When Fuchs signed for Leicester last summer from German club Schalke on a free transfer, many felt that the 29-year-old was past his prime and would struggle to find a place in the club as the left-back slot was already occupied by fan favourite Jeffrey Schlupp.
However, the Austrian has proved his doubters wrong and has been an integral part of Leicester’s squad, playing in 18 of the 22 league games so far. Fuchs has already nabbed two assists for the club and has been their mainstay in defence.
Article continues below
Leicester City’s central defensive pairing is that of two 31-year-olds in Wes Morgan and Robert Huth. The duo have bags of league experience but definitely lack pace owing to their age. However, not many teams in the league have been able to expose that obvious weakness in their defence, and that has been due, in part, to the brilliant covering by full-backs Fuchs and Danny Simpson.
Fuchs has been a tireless runner for Ranieri and has been playing with the stamina and speed of a player years younger than his actual age.
Aside from defending, the Austrian has also been a nuisance for other teams in attack. Fuchs is a splendid striker of a dead ball and his abilities have been utilised to the optimum - becoming the primary set-piece taker.
It was Fuchs who delivered the corner from which Robert Huth scored the winner against Tottenham as Leicester clinched a memorable 1-0 win at White Hart lane a few weeks back.
The 29-year-old also possesses the unique talent of being able to offer a serious threat from throw-ins. Fuchs joins an elite group of Premier League defenders capable of producing an accurate long ball straight into the penalty box from throw-ins.
He is arguably the best at the art of long throws as he is able to keep the ball flat and manage to get the required distance too.
Fuchs has certainly been given a new lease of life at Leicester and the defender has latched onto the opportunity with both hands. His performances for the club have been so extraordinary that previous first choice Schlupp seems to have become a forgotten name at the King Power stadium.
It is imperative the experienced defender maintains this current rich vein of form if Leicester are to genuinely challenge for a top four finish.