The unbelievable story of Leicester City finally had it’s fairytale ending as they were crowned Premier League champions.
The Foxes have defied all odds and logic this season and they have it with one of the smallest squads in the league and have used the fewest players.
Their team is full of cast-offs, rejects, and bargain buys looking for a second chance in the game. Now, they are Premier League winners.
Below is a list of Leicester’s starting XI with a combined cost of under £22 million, which goes to show money doesn’t always buy you success. It is hard work, determination and belief.
Kasper Schmeichel: One of the Premier League’s unsung heroes this season. The Danish stopper has followed in the footsteps of his father, Peter. Schmeichel began his career at Manchester City before being sold in 2009 after Shay Given took the number 1 jersey. Joe Hart also emerged to send Schmeichel further down the pecking order and after a number of loan spells, he was sold in 2009 to Notts County. A move to Leeds United followed, then in 2011 he signed for Leicester City for £1.25 million.
Danny Simpson: The right-back was a product of the Manchester United academy but after only three senior appearances in four years, he was sold to Newcastle. During his four years at United, he was loaned out to Royal Antwerp, Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers before another loan spell at Newcastle, which became a permanent following their relegation to the Championship in 2009. Simpson then moved to Queens Park Rangers in 2013 before moving to Leicester in 2014 after their promotion.
Wes Morgan: The Leicester captain was rejected by Notts County aged 15 and considered quitting the game. However, he then joined Nottingham Forest in 2002 and went on to become the club’s longest serving player before moving to Leicester in 2012 for £1 million.
Robert Huth: The commanding centre half was signed by Claudio Ranieri in 2001 when in charge of Chelsea, however he fell down the pecking order and was sold in 2006 to Middlesbrough where he spent three seasons before moving to Stoke City in 2009. Huth was a popular figure but his final year at the club was plagued by injury. The 31-year old then signed for Leicester in January 2015 on loan before making the move permanent.
Christian Fuchs: Signed on a free transfer last summer after being persuaded by then boss Nigel Pearson. Pearson was sacked soon after and Fuchs ended up joining the club without ever playing under Pearson.
N’Golo Kante: The midfielder has been a revelation this season after signing for £5.6 million last summer. In 2013, Kante was playing in the French second division for Caen before earning them promotion that season.
Danny Drinkwater: Like Simpson, Drinkwater was in the same Youth team at Manchester United. Drinkwater had loan spells at Huddersfield, Cardiff, Watford and Barnsley before leaving the club in 2012 without making a senior appearance at Old Trafford. Drinkwater then signed for Leicester and helped them gain promotion to the Premier League in 2014.
Riyad Mahrez: In 2009, Mahrez was playing for Le Havre reserve team in France before making 60 appearances for their first team in the French second tier. Mahrez deemed to small and fragile for English football, however since signing for Leicester in 2014 he has gone on to win the PFA Player of the Year.
Marc Albrighton: Albrighton was released by Aston Villa before signing for the Foxes in 2014. Albrighton had been at Villa since he was 8 years old, however he was loaned out to Wigan Athletic in 2013 being released by the Birmingham club.
Shinji Okazaki: The 30 year old joined Leicester in 2015 for £7 million after spending four years playing in Germany for Stuttgart and Mainz 05.
Jamie Vardy: Perhaps the most remarkable story of all. Vardy was released by Sheffield Wednesday aged 16 before playing non-league football for Stocksbridge Park Steels aged 20 earning £30 per week. After a spell at Halifax, Vardy then joined Fleetwood Town scoring 31 goals to help them clinch promotion to the Football League. The non-league player then joined Leicester for £1 million in 2012 and has gone on to be the leading scorer in the Premier League.