There have been few teams with a story in the Premier League quite like Leicester City. The Foxes have suffered multiple relegations, enjoyed shock cup triumphs before securing a fairytale league title in 2016. Having been part of the Premier League in every decade since the formation in 1992, Leicester have seen a wealth of talents appear in the East Midlands. Whether it was locally-grown superstars to the emergence of global superstars, Leicester have fought hard to maximise the potential in their team to produce shock results. So who makes Leicester’s greatest Premier League XI?
GK: Kasper Schmeichel
It seemed like Kasper Schmeichel’s career was floundering when he joined Leicester in 2011 as the team fought hard in the EFL Championship. However, the Danish international grew with the team until he regularly produced the same form that made his father a legendary figure with Manchester United. Schmeichel became Leicester’s undisputed first-choice for well over a decade including every season they had in the Premier League since being promoted in 2014. Not only was Schmeichel a key figure in their 2016 title triumph, he became a 2xPlayer of the Year winner (2013,2017) as well as a 4xDanish Player of the Year whilst at the club. However, Schmeichel left the club in 2022 to join French side Nice after notching over 414 appearances for the club.
RB: Robbie Savage
Despite Robbie Savage being known as a central midfielder, the Welshman predominantly played as a right-back for Leicester at the turn of the century. Utilizing his passing skills and driven nature, this made Savage a key figure charging up and down the right touchline. Aside from being part of a side that won the 2000 League Cup, he was a regular fixture for the sides last few seasons at Filbert Street making over 170 appearances for them. He eventually left the side in 2002 joining Birmingham City after The Foxes were relegated at the end of the 2001-02 season.
LB: Matt Elliot
No one quite personified Leicester’s efforts in the 1990s quite like Matt Elliott. The Scottish defender was never one to hold back in tackles using his physicality to put opponents off their game. Elliot proved to be a useful part of the Leicester set-up after joining in 1997 and was soon appointed captain of the side in 1998. It was this presence that made him a regular in a side that became a comfortable mid-table outfit. Alongside lifting the 2000 League Cup, Elliot was a powerful force in the air which added an extra threat to attacking situations. It was why he notched up 26 goals in 245 appearances for the club before retiring in 2005.
CB: Frank Sinclair
Frank Sinclair made himself a household name with Chelsea but it was with Leicester that he enjoyed the prime of his career with. The London-born Jamaica international moved to Filbert Street in 1998 and quickly became a regular starter under Martin O’Neill. Sinclair’s excellent ability on the ball as well as a strong foundation helped Leicester maintain a regular presence in the top-flight for several season in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sinclair even remained with the club after relegation in 2002 and their promotion in 2003. However, Sinclair left in 2004 after his second-relegation with the club joining Burnley instead.
CB: Wes Morgan
If there was a figurehead for Leicester’s never-say-die attitude in the 2010s, it would be Wes Morgan. Morgan’s fearless nature and all-around abilities made him a popular figure at the King-Power Stadium where he captained the side to promotion in 2013. From there, Morgan epitomized the club’s grit and fight as they went from relegation favourites to shock title winners. Morgan’s committed performances earned him a spot in the 2015-16 Premier League Team of the Season as The Foxes won a shock league title. He would remain skipper of Leicester for several more season despite battling fitness issues before retiring from football in 2021 after 277 appearances for Leicester over the previous decade.
CM: Neil Lennon
There were few midfielders that gave committed performances quite like Neil Lennon. The fiery Northern Ireland international was known for driving runs and giving every ounce of energy from the very first whistle. Lennon’s performances always came with an added edge that helped him dominate in the middle of the park – an asset Leicester often used to great effect. After helping Leicester win their second League Cup title in 4 years in 2000, Lennon decided to move to Scotland following manager Martin O’Neill to Celtic and begin a famous association north of the border.
CM: Muzzy Izzet
There were very few players that could slot in any midfield position quite like Muzzy Izzet. Izzet had the pace and skill to charge down either flank but also had the eye to send cutting passes if he played in the middle of the park. It was why Izzet was one of Leicester’s top stars in the 1990s and early 2000s where he scored plenty of goals as well as creating them. It was his final season with Leicester in the 2003-04 season that showcased his abilities to the fullest. Here, he notched up 14 assists for the season – a season high in the Premier League – earning plaudits from all areas of the footballing world. It was after Leicester were relegated in 2004 that Izzet left the club with the former Premier League Player of the Month moving to Birmingham City after 260 games and 37 goals.
CM: James Maddison
Leicester’s revival in the 2010s has seen them attract plenty of young stars to their side – James Maddison among them. The lively midfielder excels in the final third with an excellent eye for passing as well as an ever-present goal presence. Maddison’s clean striking of the balls has seen him become a top set-piece specialist adding further to the impending goal threat. It was this reason why Maddison is well-loved at the King Power Stadium particularly in the 2021-22 season where he scored 13 goals for the campaign. Thanks to his consistently devastating performances, Maddison was named the club’s Player of the Year in 2022 and has won the hearts of everyone at The Foxes in recent memory.
FW: Emile Heskey
There are few home-grown players from Leicester that made an impact quite like Emile Heskey. Despite all the jokes about Heskey’s finishing abilities, he was a striker that could always deliver. Powerful on the ball yet never short of pace, Heskey rose through the ranks at the club to maximum impact. In his first real season in the Premier League during the 1996-97 season, Heskey scored 10 goals underlining his case as a talent to watch. He would repeat this again a year later as Leicester proved their mettle in the English top flight. It was here that Heskey attracted regular attention from bigger clubs and after winning his second League Cup with the club in 2000, Heskey left to join Liverpool and announce his arrival as one of England’s top strikers in the 2000s.
FW: Riyad Mahrez
Have there been any better buys in the Premier League than Riyad Mahrez? The devastating winger was bought by Leicester from Le Havre in 2014 for just £450,000 amid little fanfare. However, the Algeria international quickly showed that he had pace and a deadly left-foot that could destroy the very best teams with ease. His mazy runs and willingness to shoot from anywhere made him an unpredictable nightmare for opposing sides. He proved this deadliness with ease in the 2015-16 season where he scored 17 goals in 36 games to help Leicester claim their first League title. It was quite fitting that Mahrez produced a clean sweep of major awards being named PFA Player of the Year as well as African Footballer of the Year. Mahrez would reproduce similar form in the 2017-18 season scoring 12 goals in 36 games which aligned a big-money move to Manchester City in July 2018. A real case of finding a diamond in the rough.
FW: Jamie Vardy
There are few footballers that have enjoyed the rise to fame that Jamie Vardy has enjoyed. Signed from non-league side Fleetwood Town in 2012, it felt that Leicester had taken a gamble when signing Vardy to their side in the EFL Championship. However, it was just the beginning for both sides. Vardy’s explosive pace and pinpoint striking accuracy soon made him a player to watch whenever he took to the pitch. It’s no surprise that Vardy took to life in the Premier League with ease. It was in the 2015-16 season that Vardy came to lethal form scoring 24 goals in 36 games helping Leicester win the league title. This came where Vardy broke the record for most goals scored in successive games scoring in 11 straight games and also winning consecutive Premier League Player of the Month awards. Vardy would not stop there though notching 20+ goal tallies in both the 2017-18 and 2019-2020 season underlining his ever-present goal threat. With such excellent consistency, Vardy has won a plethora of major awards including the 2020 Premier League Golden Boot as well as 2016 Premier League Player of the Year. With over 150 goals in over 300 games for Leicester, Vardy is sure to be remembered as one of the club’s all-time greats for generations to come.