Leicester City sent transfer message as consequences of FFP concerns become clear

Leicester City celebrate after claiming the Championship title.
Leicester City celebrate after claiming the Championship title. -Credit:Catherine Ivill

Leicester City are facing a tough return to the Premier League after winning promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

For much of the 2023/24 Championship campaign, the Foxes were in a class of their own, promising to shatter a host of league records before a slowdown in the second-half saw them claim the title with a game to spare.

However, a huge concern for Leicester supporters ahead of the return to the top-flight will be a feared Premier League points penalty based on player spending ahead of relegation a year ago, and that seems to be colouring expectations.

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In the wake of City’s title-clinching victory at Preston North End, we polled fans on the season just gone and the one to come, asking for views on players, the manager, the club and what the future might bring.

And asked where City might finish in the Premier League table with their current squad, 46 per cent of a thousand respondents said just outside the relegation zone, while another 32 percent reckoned bottom half, but comfortably safe.

Of the optimists in the City support, five percent foresaw a top-half finish, but for the pessimists, another 17 percent predicted a finish in the bottom three.

And asked if supporters had confidence in the City board to make the right decisions to keep the club in the Premier League, the response was a pretty even split with 54 percent of respondents backing chairman Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddhanaprabha and Co, but another 46 percent saying no.

Concerns around financial fair play have prompted talk of player sales this summer to help balance the books, and supporters were asked who they would be prepared to see leave to help comply with the spending rules.

As an academy product, player of the season Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has been touted as a likely departure since City’s return on him would be almost pure profit, but supporters would be reluctant to see the midfielder move on, with just seven percent backing his sale.

It was a similar case with Mads Hermansen, just eight percent suggesting City should cash in on their goalkeeper. The two players deemed most expendable according to fans who took part in our poll were Wout Faes (52%) and James Justin (33%), although the fact fees were paid for both makes them less valuable from a profitability and sustainability point of view.

City are under an EFL transfer embargo until June 6, but with the Premier League unlikely to extend it, Leicester could be in the market for new players this summer as long as they keep a careful eye on overall spending.

With that scenario in mind, we asked supporters what type of player should Leicester go for if they could make one top signing this summer.

Attack won the day, with 43 percent of respondents looking for a striker to add to the mix while another 30 percent opting for an attacking midfielder. Ranked next was a centre-half on 19 percent.

As for out-of-contract players, assuming that veteran striker Jamie Vardy stays on, there was a clear majority regarding the man most fans would like to see agree a new deal - Wilfred Ndidi.

More than 70 percent backed the Nigerian international defensive midfielder, while 21 percent opted for centre-half Jannik Vestergaard.

Looking at this past season’s loan recruits, again there was a clear majority when supporters were asked who they would most like to see return next term - Abdul Fatawu.

The 20-year-old winger had a brilliant season for the Foxes on loan from Sporting in Portugal, and 77 percent or respondents were keen to see him in City blue again. No-one else came close.

However, when it came to which of City’s summer signings from a year ago had the best first season at the club, Harry Winks was the main man, the former Spurs and England midfielder attracting 54 percent of the vote, with keeper Hermansen second on a distant 27%.

City’s end of season poll results in full

Out of 10, how would you rate your enjoyment of this season?

0 - 1%

1 - 1%

2 - 2%

3 - 1%

4 - 2%

5 - 4%

6 - 8%

7 - 15%

8 - 31%

9 - 20%

10 - 15%

How would you rate the job Enzo Maresca did this season out of 10?

0 - 1%

1 - 1%

2 - 1%

3 - 1%

4 - 0%

5 - 4%

6 - 3%

7 - 12%

8 - 29%

9 - 26%

10 - 22%

Which of City’s permanent summer signings had the best first season at the club?

Mads Hermansen - 27%

Conor Coady - 1%

Harry Winks - 54%

Stephy Mavididi - 17%

Tom Cannon - 1%

Assuming Jamie Vardy stays, which other out-of-contract City player would you most like to see sign a new deal?

Jannik Vestergaard - 21%

Wilfred Ndidi - 73%

Kelechi Iheanacho - 6%

Which of this year’s loanees would you most like to see return to City next season?

Callum Doyle - 3%

Cesare Casadei - 3%

Yunus Akgun - 1%

Abdul Fatawu - 77%

All of them - 13%

None of them - 3%

If City are forced to sell one valuable player this summer to comply with financial rules, who would you prefer it to be?

Mads Hermansen - 8%

Wout Faes - 52%

James Justin - 33%

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - 7%

Which of the loaned-out players would you most like to see reintegrated into the squad?

Daniel Iversen - 2%

Lewis Brunt - 7%

Luke Thomas - 13%

Victor Kristiansen - 18%

Boubakary Soumare - 27%

Nathan Opoku - 3%

All of them - 2%

None of them - 28%

If City could make one top signing this summer, what type of player should they be?

Goalkeeper - 1%

Full-back - 2%

Centre-back - 19%

Deep midfielder - 4%

Attacking midfielder - 30%

Winger - 1%

Striker - 43%

With the City squad as it currently is, where do you think they would finish in the Premier League table?

Top half - 5%

Bottom half but comfortably safe - 32%

Just outside the relegation zone - 46%

Inside the relegation zone - 17%

Do you have confidence in the board to make the right decisions to keep City in the Premier League?

Yes - 54%

No - 46%

How do you think Leicester City will fare next season? Have your say in the comments section HERE