20.09.2022
Your team’s early season rated in the first part of our Premier League report card

The fast opening to the early Premier League season comes to a halt following the final international break ahead of the World Cup and that offers a chance to reflect on the start of the season.

Just seven games in, there are already plenty of huge stories that have taken place this term, while others are offering the potential for slow burners for the rest of the season on what looks like being another highly exciting top-flight campaign.

Typically it’s not been dull for any side though, so Sportsmail has looked at every club’s first part of the season and given them a rating so far.

Here we go through Part 1 of our guide, featuring Arsenal up to Leeds United, with Part 2 to come later in the week.

ARSENAL

Position: 1st Points: 18

There was much focus on how Arsenal would start the season especially after their dramatic implosion at the end of the last campaign that saw them collapse and effectively giftwrap a Champions League place that looked in the bag to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the final day.

While Mikel Arteta’s position as manager was not under threat, the former midfielder could ill-afford a slow start to the season, or even an inconsistent one given the frustratingly slow progress he has made as manager since taking over in 2019.

Tellingly, the board backed the Spaniard in the summer with a transfer budget of around £120million and their patience is paying off following a near perfect start to the season.

Heading into the international break the Gunners lead the way at the top of the Premier League following convincing wins over Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Bournemouth, Fulham, Aston Villa and Brentford.

However, they did fail their big test after crashing to defeat at a Manchester United side who are still in transition under manager Erik ten Hag. As a result, their mentality is still to be questioned in the biggest matches against big six rivals.

Nonetheless, it’s been their only failure so far and some are even tipping the Gunners for a tilt at the title – including Brentford boss Thomas Frank, whose side were swept aside by the all-firing Gunners on Sunday.

Behind Arsenal’s excellent start to the season is how well their new signings have settled. New striker Gabriel Jesus is thriving with the responsibility to lead the line up top while Oleksandr Zinchenko too has hit the ground running at left-back following their summer arrivals from Manchester City.

Fabio Vieira is getting up to speed in the midfield, and there has even been time to glimpse into the future with Ethan Nwaneri – who at 15 became the youngest ever Premier League player at the weekend, making the club’s young stars like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe look like veterans.

Another test waits after the international break with a derby with Spurs, but their home record against their rivals is superb and another victory would surely have many more other than Frank thinking that a title fight could be a target this term.

Grade: A

Position: 15th Points: 7

It has been more than 10 months since Steven Gerrard took over at Aston Villa but the jury is still out on the Liverpool legend after he replaced the sacked Dean Smith.

By last November, Smith’s side had gone into a nosedive after a respectable start to the campaign, but it is telling that Gerrard’s team are three points worse off than at this stage last season.

Pressure was eased on Friday night when they secured a battling 1-0 victory over Southampton at Villa Park and that comes after also securing a big point at home to title favourites Manchester City, but Villa remain a club in flux even nearly a year into Gerrard’s reign.

The summer had its share of turbulence following the bold decision to strip Tyrone Mings of the captaincy, but to Gerrard’s credit as a manager, and Mings’ professionalism, it’s not harmed the club directly, at least, with the centre-back back in the side as part of the starting XI.

Gerrard has also had to deal with matters out of his hands as major signing Diego Carlos suffered a ruptured achilles and is now likely to miss the rest of the season.

There are concerns over Philippe Coutinho’s role in the first team, with the playmaker still yet to provide an assist or a goal this season since making his move from Barcelona permanent in the summer after starring on loan at Villa Park.

A couple of interesting clashes come for Villa after the international break with trips to Leeds United and Nottingham Forest before a home meeting with Chelsea – and by that point the direction the West Midlands outfit are heading in under the former Rangers boss should be clearer.

Grade: C

Position: 12th Points: 8

When looking at Bournemouth’s start to the season it must be judged in context with many of the early season predictions for the Cherries, who were only promoted to the Premier League this term.

Namely before a ball had been kicked, many feared Bournemouth were doomed having spent little on the way of signings and showing a side that looked way out of its depth at Premier League level.

Since the season started, it has certainly not been dull and regardless of the high drama that’s happened since, a mid-table spot on eight points is an excellent achievement so far even if it remains early days after just seven games.

Scott Parker had secured an opening day win but three straight defeats including the humiliating Premier League joint-record 9-0 defeat at Liverpool saw him depart just days later – although signs suggested there had been cracks between the former manager and the club’s board over a lack of summer arrivals.

Gary O’Neil has been steadying the ship as interim boss, and has so far secured two draws and an excellent comeback win from 2-0 down at Nottingham Forest that could have huge implications come the end of the season in their potential battle to avoid relegation.

Having already played Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal there are concerns for Bournemouth, who have the worst goal difference in the league with -13 – with most of the damage coming from those three teams who collectively have beaten them 16-0.

That, though, offers up some kinder fixtures after the international break and a chance to build up a cushion above the relegation zone when they face a run of games against Brentford, Leicester, Fulham, Southampton and West Ham United.

Grade: B-

Position: 9th Points: 9

After making a bright start last season, momentum soon left Brentford during the second half of the campaign and it’s not an outrageous suggestion to say they could have gone down had they not made the inspired signing of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer, whose sensational form helped keep the Bees out of trouble.

So once the Dane departed for Manchester United over the summer it was always going to be interesting to see how they would cope heading into the new season.

In a Premier League equivalent of sink or swim, Frank’s side are so far showing excellent buoyancy with early season Premier League form marking them as a team not many will want to play rather than the pushovers perhaps many were expecting.

Admittedly, they head into the international break having been thumped 3-0 at home by Arsenal but there have been big wins too, namely the 5-2 victory over Leeds United and the stunning 4-0 demolition of Manchester United at home, of course.

Only the top three have scored more goals and it’s led to Ivan Toney being called up to the England squad with his five Premier League strikes so far only bettered by goal machine Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Keeping goals out hasn’t been as easy with 12 having already been conceded so far, and it’s something boss Thomas Frank will have to address after the international break.

And that brings us to a new potential problem on the horizon. Frank has been linked with a move to Leicester should they dispense with Brendan Rodgers and if the highly popular manager does depart then Brentford will once again be entering new waters and another sink or swim situation.

Grade: B

Position: 4th Points: 13

And among the early season Premier League title contenders are… (checks notes) erm, Brighton!

Of course, it’s far too early to suggest Brighton could be serious challengers for a title shout but it does underline the excellent progress the club have been making since earning promotion in 2017.

While it’s a surprise to see them in fourth spot, while still having a game in hand with the teams above them, this sort of burst of form has been coming for quite a while now following the groundwork put in by Graham Potter and his players.

Potter has got Brighton playing an excellent style of football and the only thing holding them back over the last year has been a star striker to finish off the abundance of chances they have been creating.

That striker still eludes them, but many players have stepped up in the interim to help fire the Seagulls into the top four. Their early season victories include a stunning 2-1 win on the opening day at Manchester United, as well as a 5-2 win over Leicester City at the start of September.

In many ways it’s a shame to see Potter depart, not least because we will now never know just how far he could have taken this side, who have started to become a popular Premier League outfit among neutrals for their stylish play.

It reflects on Potter’s abilities as a manager that Chelsea have taken the plunge to appoint him in a move that he really could not turn down as he looks to take a highly promising managerial career to another level.

Top four battles were never the target for Brighton despite their promising start – with or without Potter.

The relatively unknown Italian boss Roberto De Zerbi will take charge after the international break and he won’t find a bigger test waiting for him than a trip to Anfield before hosting Tottenham.

Grade: A

Position: 7th Points: 10

With a game in hand on their rivals, Chelsea’s position in the Premier League is hardly disastrous but in the context ofheir summer business, form on the pitch and events off it, it’s been nothing but chaos at Stamford Bridge.

Under new owner Todd Boehly the club backed Thomas Tuchel with a quarter of a billion pounds in the transfer window – and with that sort of outlay on players, Chelsea should have been a major force early in the season.

Instead, it’s gone very flat, very quick. Successive summer striking flops Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have departed, being replaced in part by Raheem Sterling as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who arrived right on the deadline from Barcelona.

It looked an ideal signing for Tuchel with the striker he had worked with at Borussia Dortmund, yet after just an hour of game time the German was incredibly sacked following a 1-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

The result, while a shock European defeat, was only a small factor in his dismissal, with Tuchel and the Chelsea board having not been on the same level of understanding throughout the summer.

That begs the question of why the club would then still back him with funds, but Premier League form has not been convincing either, with narrow wins only coming against struggling sides Everton, Leicester City and West Ham, while they lost at Southampton and heavily at Leeds United.

The Blues also conceded a stoppage time equaliser at home to Tottenham in a bad-tempered clash that saw Tuchel earn a post-match red card after a scuffle with counterpart Antonio Conte. With over £250million spent, it’s just not been good enough for a team who should be strong title contenders.

Potter is now in the hotseat following Tuchel’s exit. His challenge will be getting results quickly – an interesting mission brief considering the Englishman’s methods appear to rely on his side slowly progressing to his style of management.

Time will tell if he can get Chelsea firing quickly or if he will be given time to enforce his authority on the squad, but watching the experiment play out will be a fascinating story for the rest of the season.

Grade: D

Position: 16th Points: 6

It’s not looking good for Crystal Palace in the early stages of the season, with just one win from their opening six games – yet there are plenty of reasons for Eagles fans to remain optimistic.

Firstly they have a game in hand on those around them. Another three points would see them into the top 10 so it’s fine margins we are dealing with in the early stages of the season.

It may not look like the start of the season compared to the high praise manager Patrick Vieira was receiving last term, yet curiously Palace are only one point worse off at the same stage having played one game fewer.

Then you have to look at the fixtures that Palace have already played.

They have only suffered two defeats including a home loss by Arsenal on the opening night, as well as a 4-2 beating at Manchester City – and let’s face it not many teams are going to go to the Etihad Stadium this season and leave with many points.

The sole win came at home to Aston Villa but probably the most impressive display so far has been the 1-1 draw secured at Anfield against Liverpool.

That means after just six games, Vieira’s side have played half of the ‘so-called’ big six and have arguably already cleared the two hardest games of the season in trips to Manchester City and Liverpool.

There wasn’t too much transfer business in the summer, with Cheick Doucoure arriving and settling well into the midfield.

Hard games continue to come after the international break, but the meeting with Chelsea is scheduled to be their last against a ‘big six’ team for the rest of 2022, giving Vieira’s side a good chance of putting a strong set of results to push them up the table. They are certainly better than their current standings suggest.

Grade: C+

Position: 13th Points: 7

It’s amazing to see the direction Everton have travelled over the last year. After seven games last term, the Toffees were two points off the top and flying under Rafa Benitez – hardly believable when you consider they ended the season having to perform a great escape to stay up under Frank Lampard.

So it’s disingenuous to compare Everton now in terms of 12 months ago, but in isolation Lampard’s outfit look a curious team this term.

To his credit, he has made Everton hard to beat following back-to-back defeats at the start of the season by Chelsea and Aston Villa.

The Villa game represents the only fixture where Everton have conceded two goals this term, and that any hard work on defending is paying off. Only Brighton have conceded fewer than their six goals.

Phase two now focuses on trying to score goals. Just the five have come so far, which is why they only won their first Premier League game of the season on Sunday as they beat West Ham 1-0.

Encouragingly, it was summer arrival Neal Maupay on target and he has big boots to fill following the £50million summer exit of talisman Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur.

Still, after the dramatic escapades last term that helped them stay up, there are signs of progress under Lampard, with the team now looking much more organised – demonstrated by a well-battled point earned at home in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool.

It’s not good enough for Everton but from the low base Lampard has had to start from it’s certainly foundations to build on and you sense around the Toffees that fans are now starting to fully get behind the manager and his side as they look to continue their gradual improvement.

Grade: D+

Position: 6th Points: 11

Fulham have been bouncing up and down between the top two divisions for the past five seasons now so their main hope is going through a Premier League season without getting relegated for the first time in a decade.

So far, it’s all gone rather well. They enter the international break in sixth place and while that has caveats of teams below them having played one game fewer it is certainly a fair reflection on just how well they have started the season.

Not least because the fixtures have been tough, and yet they have only lost two games – even those were close affairs in defeats at Tottenham and Arsenal. In the latter they were good value for a point after taking the lead before conceding four minutes from the end.

But they have also played and held one of the early season title favourites to a 2-2 draw on the opening weekend of the season.

So having been given some serious tests already, Fulham are already holding their own on their return to the top flight – at least much more than any of their previous returns within the last five years.

Speaking of new found Fulham trademarks, there is more resilence to them this term too – most recently seen at Nottingham Forest where after going behind they responded after half-time with three goals in six minutes on their way to a 3-2 victory.

Despite their high placing early on in the season, the target is still to avoid yet another relegation from the top flight but the signs of achieving that are as good now as they have ever been.

Grade: A-

Position: 11th Points: 8

After escaping Premier League relegation on the final day of last season and having parted company with Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds fans will be under no illusion this could be a season of transition at Elland Road.

Or to put it another way, it’s another season of trying not to get relegated following a summer where key stars have left the club.

England international Kalvin Phillips couldn’t resist a high profile move to Manchester City, while Barcelona swooped in to snatch key attacker Raphinha, leaving Leeds a little blunted in attack while also lacking some midfield quality.

Bielsa’s replacement in the dugout Jesse Marsch then has his work cut out but it’s been a solid enough start to the season for the Elland Road outfit.

With the near £100million they have banked following the exit of Phillips and Raphinha, Leeds have strengthened with nine summer signings, and they are settling well with a headline result coming in the 3-0 victory over Chelsea.

Results so far suggest Leeds could tread water this term and if that means sticking in the lower reaches of mid-table that’s not a terrible season – certainly an improvement on the last Premier League campaign.

Having lost key players in the summer it could be considered a success even, as the club enters a post0-Bielsa era while trying to maintain their top flight status they spent nearly two decades trying to get back after returning in 2020.

Grade: B-

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    Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Monday, October 3

    Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow delivers his tips for Monday’s meetings at Windsor, Pontefract, Stratford and Wolverhampton.

    WINDSOR

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Amos Kipruto wins the men’s 2022 London Marathon as Yalemzerf Yehualaw clinches women’s gold

    After the fall came the rise. Not many athletes can climb up from a face-plant to win the London Marathon but Yalemzerf Yehualaw is rapidly emerging as a runner who does not conform to the usual standards.

    The Ethiopian’s victory across two hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds on Sunday was staggering, both in her revival from tumbling over a speed bump six miles from the tape, and also in what it heralded, with the 23-year-old becoming the youngest winner of this race in history.

    That it was only her second ever marathon, six months after winning her first in Hamburg, would indicate she has a better shot than most in her stated ambition of one day breaking the 2:14.04 world record of Brigid Kosgei.

    ‘I had a dream to be a professional athlete and to run in these races,’ she said. ‘I am so happy to win on my first time in London. London people were shouting a lot and it inspired me.

    ‘I am thinking of the longer plan I have that I would like to break the world record.’

    Kosgei, the dominant Kenyan athlete, was among the many leading names who withdrew injured ahead of this race, which cleared a sizeable hurdle for Yehualaw. However, another presented itself after 20 miles, when she lost around 25metres on the leading group of eight when she fell hard over the speed bump.

    ‘I hurt my hip and knee,’ she said, before a member of her team confirmed she bumped her head as well. Despite that setback, she reeled the pack in and by the 24th mile it had become a two-woman showdown with the defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.

    That was when Yehualaw ran a storming mile of four minutes and 43 seconds, the quickest ever recorded in a women’s marathon, and left the Kenyan in her wake. Her time was the third fastest in the 42 years of the race.

    The men’s event was won by Amos Kipruto in 2:04.39 after breaking three miles from home. The leading British runner was ninth-placed Waynay Ghebresilasie, who carried the flag for Eritrea at London 2012 before seeking asylum here.

    The 28-year-old said: ‘Before the 2012 Olympics my country was not in a good situation, that’s why I stayed in Britain. I was in Sunderland and then moved to Birmingham and I’m in Scotland now.

    ‘My plan is to run at the World Championships and the Paris Olympics for Great Britain.’

    Meanwhile, Eilish McColgan, who pulled out because of blood sugar issues that are exacerbated over the marathon distance, set a new European 10km road record by clocking 30:18 at the Great Scottish Run.

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    JJ Watt returns to field just THREE DAYS after having his ‘heart shocked back into rhythm’

    JJ Watt took the field Sunday afternoon just three days after having his ‘heart shocked back into rhythm’ after going into Atrial fibrillation.

    Watt made the shocking admission at roughly midday ET on Sunday, and was on the field hours later for the Cardinals as they took on the Panthers.

    According to the CDC, Atrial fibrillation – commonly called ‘A-Fib’ or AF – is ‘when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way’.

    It occurs due to the blood not flowing as well as it should from the atria to the lower chambers of the heart, and it can occur as a one-off episode or as a permanent condition. It is currently unclear whether Watt’s situation is the former or latter.

    Yet Watt took his usual position Sunday on the defensive line for the Cardinals, with one total tackle at the time of writing.

    The three-time defensive player of the year said earlier Sunday that he was only sharing the health update because it had been leaked to the media.

    Writing to his 5.6million followers, he said: ‘I was just told somebody leaked some personal information about me and it’s going to be reported on today.

    ‘I went into A-Fib [Atrial fibrillation] on Wednesday, had my heart shocked back into rhythm on Thursday and I’m playing today. That’s it.’

    Watt is currently in his second season with the Cardinals, and appears to have been deemed healthy by medics to play in North Carolina for the Week 4 match-up.

    The former Houston Texans star missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday for what the Cardinals reported as ‘calf/illness’ on their injury report.

    The NFL star has consistently struggled with injuries over the last few years of his career, missing 10 games of the 2021 season with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

    In 2019 he missed eight games with a torn pectoral, and in 2017 he fractured his tibia and had to sit out the final 11 games of the season.

    This heart issue is seemingly not something Watt wants to keep him sidelined, despite fans and fellow players appearing concerned in reply to his Sunday tweet.

    Quarterback Robert Griffin III wrote: ‘Life is bigger than football. Glad you are OK,’ while one fan commented: ‘You’re a young man who’s already made enough money to support your children’s children and you’re going to play 5 days after essentially having a heart attack? What’s the matter with you guys? This toxic masculinity is shameful.’

    Watt’s injury comes at a time when the NFL is under heavy scrutiny for allowing players to continue despite problems, after Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailova was allowed to play on Thursday night.

    The quarterback suffered a heavy hit to his head the previous Sunday but passed concussion checks to return four days later, only to suffer another serious blow, resulting in him being taken off on a stretcher.

    In the wake of that incident, the NFLPA fired the medic who cleared Tagovailova to play in the second game.

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Terry Bradshaw reveals he has battled bladder and skin cancer in the past year

    Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, has shared he has been diagnosed with cancer twice over the last year.

    The Fox NFL Sunday co-host and football favorite concerned fans during an appearance on the show last week and has now revealed he has endured bladder and skin cancer.

    ‘Last week on this show, I ran out of breath, and Howie (Long) helped me up, and a lot of people are asking what’s wrong with me, what’s happened to me physically,’ Bradshaw said on Sunday’s NFL pregame show.

    ‘I just want to address it and let you know what has happened in my life. In November, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

    ‘I went to the Yale University Medical Center – surgery, treatment. As of today, I am bladder-cancer free. That’s the good news.

    ‘Then in March, feeling good. I had a bad neck. I get an MRI. Now we find a tumor in my left neck.

    ‘And it’s a Merkel cell tumor, which is a rare form of skin cancer. So I had that surgery done at M.D. Anderson in Houston.’

    Bradshaw, 74, played 14 seasons for the Steelers and is a four-time Super Bowl Champion, a two-time Super Bowl MVP and one-time regular season MVP.

    ‘Folks, I may not look like my old self, but I feel like my old self. I’m cancer free, I’m feeling great. And over time, I’m going to be back to where I normally am.’

    Former New York Giant and fellow Hall of Famer Michael Strahan had kind words for Bradshaw. ‘You are the ultimate teammate. We love you,’ he said.

    ‘We’re just so happy that you’re here and we’re happy that you’re cancer-free and I think you’re going to give hope to a lot of people out there who are going through something similar.’

    In typical Fox NFL Sunday fashion, the compassionate, loving tone didn’t last long before Strahan injected some humor at the expense of the former Steeler.

    ‘I’m also just curious why it took this for people to ask what’s wrong with you after all these years?’

    Bradshaw and his colleagues erupted in laughter before host, Curt Menefee added: ‘There’s some of us that have been asking it for several years!’

    The 74-year-old is married to his wife, Tammy, and has two daughters, Rachel and Erin, and a step-daughter, Lacey.

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters has to be held back from head coach John Harbaugh

    Peters reportedly left the field screaming before attempting to confront Harbaugh as Buffalo readied for the field goal which gave them a 23-20 victory on the road.

    The 29-year-old was then said to have thrown his helmet in fury as he watched on. Harbaugh was seen yelling, seemingly toward Peters, before CBS cameras cut back to Bills kicker, Tyler Bass.

    Cameras then turned to Peters, who was enraged, attempting to get closer to his head coach.

    Following the game, Harbaugh attempted to quash the disagreement as nothing more than a part of football.

    ‘Emotions run high. We’re on the same page,’ Harbaugh told reporters post-game.

    ‘We’ve got a great relationship, we’ve got an honest relationship. I love him, hope he still loves me, we’ll see.’

    Baltimore gave up 20 unanswered points after charging to an early 20-3 lead. What may have incensed Peters further was Harbaugh’s decision to go for a touchdown on fourth and goal on the Ravens’ last possession after their altercation.

    Instead of a chip shot field goal which could have given Baltimore a 23-20 lead with just over four minutes remaining, Harbaugh went for it from the two-yard line.

    ‘I thought it gave us the best chance to win the game,’ Harbaugh said. ‘It didn´t turn out that way and unfortunately, and we lost the game.

    ‘Hindsight, you take the points. But you look at it analytically, you´ll understand why we did it.’

    Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson threw an interception, giving Buffalo an opportunity to go down the field and win the game, which they duly took.

    Following the loss, Baltimore hold a 2-2 record, tied with Cleveland who sit first in the AFC North.

    Buffalo’s late victory avoided a two-game losing streak and keeps them on pace with AFC East rival, Miami at 3-1.

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Schmeichel BENCHED by Nice and Fuchs is an MLS cult hero – where Leicester’s title winners are TODAY

    Winless Leicester went into the international break rock bottom of the Premier League, after a disastrous run of form and a destructive transfer window at the King Power, although they have the chance to move off the foot of the table against Nottingham Forest on Monday.

    Rewind seven years, and Leicester were on track to producing one of — if not the — greatest underdog story in sporting history.

    Sportsmail has taken a look at where Leicester’s title-winning team from 2015-16 has ended up amid a difficult period for the Foxes.

    The Danish stopper opted for a fresh start this summer after 11 years at the King Power, completing a shock free transfer to Nice in August.

    And it seems the move has caused a handful of issues for both parties.

    While new Foxes No 1 Danny Ward has struggled to step up to the plate, Schmeichel has failed to assert himself as the undisputed first-choice keeper in France, sharing minutes across all competitions with Marcin Bulka.

    The 35-year-old’s entourage asked owner Jim Ratcliffe to start him in the first match of the season, but Schmeichel found himself on the bench instead, having reportedly arrived with a ‘very high’ body fat percentage.

    After spending five seasons at the King Power, the right-back left to join Huddersfield in 2019 before embarking upon a new chapter with Bristol City.

    Simpson left the Championship club in March following just over a year with the Robins, after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

    The Manchester United academy graduate has since kept himself busy playing poker online with his former team-mate Danny Webber, regularly advertising his poker live streams on Twitter.

    The towering centre-half was an instrumental part of Claudio Ranieri’s title-winning side, rolling back the years with some traditional ‘no nonsense’ defending.

    It’s a style of play Huth is more than proud of, referring to himself on social media as an ‘ex-shirtpulling, elbowing, body checking’ Premier League winner.

    Since his retirement in 2018, the 38-year-old has completed a Master of Science in Sports Directorship degree, swapping his boots for books.

    Hailed as the Foxes’ ‘Captain Fantastic’, Morgan left the club in the most fitting manner in 2021, lifting the FA Cup in his final campaign.

    The Jamaican centre-back has since become a member of the Premier League Black Participants’ Advisory Group, hoping to lead the way for more diversity in football.

    Morgan, who revealed he had no interest in becoming a manager after retirement, has been doing plenty of work for Soccer Aid and UNICEF, amongst other charities.

    Leicester’s dependable former left-back has undertaken several business ventures since exiting the King Power in 2021, starting up his own eSports team called No Fuchs Given and football academy called Fox Soccer.

    Since hopping across the pond to star for Charlotte in the MLS, Fuchs has stormed to second in shirt sales behind LAFC star Gareth Bale.

    Fuchs even revealed in 2016 that he would one day ‘seriously’ consider becoming an NFL kicker after he retires from football for good. Is there anything this man can’t do?

    Arguably the most successful former Fox on the list, Kante went on to win another Premier League, the Champions League and the World Cup following his move to Chelsea in 2016.

    The 31-year-old has spent the majority of this campaign on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge, suffering from a series of knee problems and muscular issues.

    With Graham Potter now at the helm, Kante will be hoping for a fresh start after a turbulent few months in west London.

    The central midfielder left Leicester for £35million to join Chelsea in 2017, after playing a pivotal box-to-box role with the title-winners.

    However, his move to the capital was nothing short of a disaster — and the Blues went on to loan him out four times in three seasons between 2019 and 2022.

    Having returned from his loan spell at Reading and still without a club following his release from Chelsea this summer, Drinkwater’s career remains in freefall.

    For anyone who thought Mahrez’s scintillating display during 2015-16 was a flash in the pan, the Algerian has more than asserted himself as a world-class talent at Manchester City.

    Adding seven domestic trophies to his portfolio since joining in 2018, the winger has kicked on from the triumph in 2016 and carved out a fruitful and lucrative Premier League career.

    Despite his trophy success, Mahrez sees much less of the pitch these days, starting only two league matches so far under Pep Guardiola this campaign.

    The reliable winger is one of only two players from Ranieri’s starting line-up to still be at the club, alongside Leicester legend Jamie Vardy.

    Whilst perhaps not flaunting the skillset of Mahrez, Albrighton has remained an integral part of the Foxes’ recent successes, featuring in their FA Cup final triumph and Champions League quarter-final in 2017.

    The 32-year-old has yet to play a single minute for Rodgers this season — perhaps the loyal midfielder could help solve the Foxes’ crisis after the international break.

    The Japanese international spent four campaigns with Leicester before moving to Malaga, Huesca and Cartagena.

    Following the expiry of his contract this summer, Okazaki teamed up with international team-mate and former Manchester United star Shinji Kagawa at Belgian outfit Sint-Truidense V.V. last month.

    The 36-year-old is currently the highest active goalscorer for Japan, sitting third in the all-time charts with 50 international goals.

    The striker’s record-breaking campaign was followed by seven superb seasons leading the line at Leicester, in which he boosted his tally to 133 Premier League goals.

    Vardy, who was dropped by Rodgers for Leicester’s hefty defeats by Brighton and Spurs, still avidly remembers the moment they won the title at his famous party in 2016.

    ‘It was literally just a get-together,’ he told Bleacher Report in March. ‘It got to half-time and we’d all had a few beers obviously watching the game.

    ‘As the game went on, it started getting a bit closer with Gary Cahill scoring first and then Hazard put it in.

    ‘I mean, I was doing a somersault on to the settee. Wes [Morgan] was getting dragged around my kitchen by his feet.

    ‘But as full-time went, it was the complete opposite. You just had your little celebration and everything went into silence.

    ‘Everyone took themselves off into their own corner and tried reflecting on it as best they could themselves.’

    The iconic manager was axed by Watford in January 2022 and has yet to find his route back into management.

    His warm character and quirky methods at Leicester inspired a Cinderella story for the ages, but he has struggled to produce anything of real significance since.

    Despite his prickly end at the King Power, Ranieri admitted that Leicester still holds a very special place in his heart.

    He told Sky Sports: ‘Leicester will be in my heart for all my life. I had won things around Europe before but never the title.

    ‘This time, I won the title and Leicester and the fans will always be in my heart for me.’

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