Amidst all the furore surrounding Jose Mourinho’s seemingly imminent arrival at Manchester United, Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League triumph seems to have been forgotten.
After narrowly avoiding relegation in the 2014/15 term, the Foxes pulled off one of - if not the - greatest feats in English football by storming to the title last season.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City all tried and failed to pip Leicester to top spot, with Claudio Ranieri’s men consistently churning out results throughout.
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No one expects them to successfully defend their title, of course, but if anything should be taken from last season, it’s that anything can happen.
However, for Ranieri, his primary goal isn’t to win the title, nor is it to finish in the top four.
No, the Italian has revealed Leicester’s priority is to stay in the Premier League.
He told the Daily Mirror, per Sky Sports: “Next season will be another fantastic season, because Guardiola arrives, Conte and Jose. It will be a very tough and good season.
“Can we beat them? We can fight, but we’re underdogs. The fairy tale happened once and we won. We want to defend our title, of course, but for us it’s important to stay in the Premier League.
“Our playing won’t change. Yes, we go into it as champions but I want them to continue to have the right attitude and I can accept all the results.”
Modest as always.
Whilst Leicester are far from at threat of being relegated, it’s reasonable to suggest a top-ten finish is the best they can hope for next season.
They face a testing summer to keep hold of their prized assets, with Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante both rumoured with moves away to the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
Where the true test lies, though, is whether the Foxes can keep up with their Premier League rivals.
Arsenal will undoubtedly strengthen this summer and have already done so through Granit Xhaka’s arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach.
United are close to announcing Jose Mourinho as their new manager and will be a different animal heading into the new campaign.
Pep Guardiola is set to arrive at Manchester City and reinvigorate a squad that struggled last term.
Liverpool have come on leaps and bounds under Jurgen Klopp and are two or three signings away from challenging for the title.
And that’s without taking Tottenham and Chelsea into account. Put simply, competition will be at an all-time high in England’s top-flight - good luck, Claudio.
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