Leicester City

Leicester City's 2016 title-winning squad: What happened next?

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Leicester City v Everton - Premier League
Leicester City v Everton - Premier League / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Leicester City, the champions of England. Even now, it just sounds so absurd.

Prior to the 2015/2016 season, the impossible dream seemed a million miles away. The talismanic Nigel Pearson had been sacked and news of Claudio Ranieri's appointment went down like a lead balloon.

Yet somehow, the 'Tinkerman' turned his squad of cast-offs, former non-league players and unknown stars from small teams in France into Premier League champions. Here's a look at that Leicester City side which shook the very foundations of the modern game and became just the sixth team to ever win the biggest prize in domestic football.

GK. Kasper Schmeichel

Schmeichel is due a Leicester testimonial soon
Schmeichel is due a Leicester testimonial soon / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Having joined Leicester City five years before following in his dad's footsteps by becoming a Premier League champion, Kasper Schmeichel conceded just 36 goals during the 2015/16 campaign.

The now 34-year-old is still Leicester's number one and remains one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the Premier League.

RB. Danny Simpson

Simpson was always solid at the back
Simpson was always solid at the back / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Former Manchester United youth prospect Danny Simpson continued to hold down the right-back slot until the arrival of Ricardo Pereira in 2018.

He departed Leicester in the summer of 2019 and initially struggled to find a new side before being snapped up on a one-year deal by Huddersfield Town. He did some punditry for his former club's Europa League run before being reunited with Pearson at Bristol City in March 2021.

CB. Robert Huth

Huth famously bagged a brace against Manchester City
Huth famously bagged a brace against Manchester City / Michael Regan/GettyImages

How exactly Rob Huth transformed Leicester City into Premier League champions during his first full season with the club - he was on loan during the second half of the 2014/15 campaign - remains a mystery, but his arrival helped turn the club's fortunes around forever.

Huth saw out the remainder of his contract at the King Power Stadium before retiring in 2018. He made 322 appearances in the Premier League during his career, becoming a league champion three times. Since retiring he has kept a low profile, returning to live in Berlin in 2021 - where he presumably spends his time prank-calling best mate Jonathan Walters.

CB. Wes Morgan

Morgan has scored some important goals for Leicester over the years
Morgan has scored some important goals for Leicester over the years / BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

Leicester's title-winning captain was set to leave the club at the end of this season 2018/2019, but the 35-year-old signed a one-year contract extension following Brendan Rodgers arrival as their new manager.

He was then handed another year for the 2020/2021 campaign, appearing a handful of times when the Foxes were going through an injury crisis. He has spoken about pivoting into the business side of the game when he eventually retires.

LB. Christian Fuchs

One day, Fuchs will get his MLS move
One day, Fuchs will get his MLS move / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

If you're looking for the dictionary definition of a fan favourite, then Christian Fuchs fits the bill perfectly.

In the season's following the title win, Ben Chilwell eventually displaced Fuchs' as the Foxes' starting left-back although he remains at the club to this day. Every year he says he is going to move out to the United States and every year he gets convinced to stick around. Surely an MLS club will take a chance on this legend for the 2021 season. Or maybe an NFL team need a kicker?

RM. Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez's first touch is legendary
Mahrez's first touch is legendary / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

Signed from French side Le Havre while Leicester City were still playing in the Championship, Riyad Mahrez went on to be crowned the PFA Players' Player of the Season during the club's title-winning campaign.

The technician remained at the King Power Stadium for two more years before convincing Manchester City to splash over £61m on him in 2018. Since then, he's won another Premier League title, an FA Cup and an EFL Cup.

CM. Danny Drinkwater

Drinkwater's career has nosedived since leaving Leicester
Drinkwater's career has nosedived since leaving Leicester / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Danny Drinkwater wasn't considered as one of Leicester City's top three players when they won the Premier League title, but the former Manchester United youth star was the beating heart of Claudio Ranieri's team.

He made 218 appearances during his five years at the club, but a move to Chelsea in 2017 kickstarted a rapid decline. He rarely featured for the Blues with loan moves at Aston Villa and Burnley failing to resurrect his career.

These days he can be found on loan at Turkish side Kasimpasa.

CM. N'Golo Kanté

Kante is one of the best midfielders on the planet
Kante is one of the best midfielders on the planet / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

N'Golo Kanté only spent one full season at Leicester City, having joined from Caen in 2015 for £8.1m, before leaving for Chelsea the following summer for almost four times that fee.

His performances during Leicester's title-winning season helped establish Kanté in the French national team and he's gone on to cement his place as a truly world-class defensive midfielder,. He won the PFA Player of the Year award in 2017 and World Cup in 2018. 

LM. Marc Albrighton

Albrighton is a workhorse
Albrighton is a workhorse / Michael Regan/GettyImages

He didn't grab the headlines like other players in Leicester City's squad, but Marc Albrighton's delivery helped bring another dynamic to their naturally counter-attacking team.

Albrighton remains an important part of their side and remains under contract until 2022. Not bad for a free transfer.

ST. Shinji Okazaki

Okazaki's smile lights up a room
Okazaki's smile lights up a room / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Japan international Shinji Okazaki had never been the most prolific striker during his four-year spell in the Bundesliga, but it was his work off the ball that convinced the club to spend almost £10m on his signature in 2015.

Always playing with a smile on his face, Okazaki proved to be the perfect partner for Leicester City's top goalscorer, and he even chipped in with a handful of goals too.

After falling down the pecking order, he departed on a free to Malaga in 2019 where his contract was cancelled after a month as they could not match his wage demands. Huesca soon came calling and he helped to fire them to La Liga promotion with 12 goals in 37 games.

ST. Jamie Vardy

The GOAT / Michael Regan/GettyImages

From non-league side Stocksbridge Park Steels to Leicester City, via spells at Halifax and Fleetwood Town, all within the space of two years remains one of the biggest success stories in European football.

Jamie Vardy had always been a nuisance for defenders during his first three years at Leicester City, but even his 16-goal haul during their promotion from the Championship only made him the league's 10th top goalscorer.

After surviving relegation, Vardy scored 24 goals in the Premier League as Leicester City became champions. Since then the goals have kept on coming and he won the division's 2019/2020 Golden Boot with 23 goals. He is not done yet either with his Leicester contract not set to expire until 2023.

Other Notable Squad Members

Ulloa played his part in the title win
Ulloa played his part in the title win / BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

Leonardo Ulloa - An important impact sub during the title run in, Ulloa stayed for the following season but saw game time increasingly limited. After a loan at Brighton, the striker moved to Pachuca in Mexico before signing for Rayo Vallecano.

Andy King - The homegrown midfielder played another part in a great underdog story that year, as Wales went to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Ostracized under Claude Puel he went out on loan several times before signing for OHL Leuven, a Belgian club also own by King Power. Stella Artois is brewed nearby as well.

Jeff Schlupp - The Ghana international, who played 24 times during Leicester's title-winning season, signed for Crystal Palace in 2017 and has carved out a fine career since.

Nathan Dyer was in the right place at the right time
Nathan Dyer was in the right place at the right time / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Nathan Dyer - It looked very much like a sideways move when winger Dyer moved on loan from Swansea to Leicester for 2015/16. Instead he got to play a cameo role in one of the greatest footballing achievements of all time. He returned to Swansea after that before being released in 2020. He has since been training with his former side while he looks for a new club.

Demarai Gray - Gray joined Leicester as a teenager in the winter transfer window of the 2015/16 season. He went to make 80 substitute appearances for the club before finally growing tired of playing second fiddle and signing for Bayer Leverkusen in January 2021. He scored on his debut but has since been restricted playing time from the bench - again.