​Leicester's season has been so exhilarating, so unexpectedly brilliantly and joyous that it feels slightly ridiculous to level any criticism at this special group of players. 


Sure, since Christmas, the Foxes have not quite replicated the levels of their absurd start to the season - when they were eulogised as the only team capable of halting Liverpool's romp to the title.


But Brendan Rodgers' side remain 11 points clear of sixth placed Sheffield United and the Champions League anthem seems set to reverberate around King Power Stadium once again next campaign.

Harvey Barnes

This success has come at a price, however, with almost all of the club's starting XI being linked with moves away from the east Midlands. 


Rock solid centre back pairing Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans attracted serious interest from ​Manchester City earlier in the campaign, while rumours of creative heartbeat of the team James Maddison making a switch to ​Manchester United refuse to subside.


Most worrying of all has been speculation linking Ricardo Pereira with moves to ​Barcelona or ​Tottenham. Despite all the plaudits rightly given to Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy, the Portugal international has once again been the Foxes' best player this season. 


Resolute defensively and irresistible going forward, Pereira is key to how Leicester play, providing width in a side including forwards who want to cut inside.


And then there are rumours linking Ben Chilwell with ​Chelsea and Man City. On the surface, this should be similarly concerning news. The 23-year-old - who came through the Foxes' youth academy - is England's first choice left-back and has earned all manner of praise for his performances this campaign. 


Removing any emotional detachment from their assessment, though, you would be hard pressed to find a Leicester fan who would not sacrifice Chilwell if it meant the rest of the squad stayed put. 

Ben Chilwell

The club already have a contingency plan in place if the defender does fancy a move to west London or Manchester; 90min telling you ​last week that Leicester are planning to invest Chilwell's transfer fee in Arsenal's Kieran Tierney, who Rodgers previously worked with at Celtic. 


Although injury problems have prevented the Scotsman from setting the world alight in his inaugural Premier League season, this has to be seen as a smart piece of business. 


Here's why.


Chilwell would command a vastly inflated transfer fee due to the fact that his current deal runs until 2024 and you know, he's English and has a left foot. Some reports have estimated that the Foxes may insist that any buyer splashes out around £100m for the player. 


As the Harry Maguire and Danny Drinkwater transfer sagas show, Leicester have the ability to secure ludicrous transfer fees for their players and they would surely be able to do it again with Chilwell.

​Arsenal, on the other hand, could be convinced to part with Tierney for little over the £25m that they paid for him in the summer, with Mikel Arteta's strange pursuit of Layvin Kurzawa last month suggesting that he is not happy with the club's current defensive options.


Chilwell's sale could therefore provide the club with a staggering financial windfall. This would cushion the blow caused by his departure but there is even an argument that they would not even miss him. 


His defensive deficiencies were most glaringly exposed during the Foxes festive drubbings against Manchester City and ​Liverpool but they have always been present in his game.   


He is averaging just 1.6 tackles per game this season, a measly total - particularly considering his teammate Pereira's league leading tally of 4.3. 

Ben Chilwell

The player's offensive work is often frustrating also. He is very capable of driving the ball into space, but lacks the decision making ability to make the most of his gift for getting into promising areas. 


Chilwell averages less crosses per game than another Foxes ​target, Ryan Bertrand, and has laid on the same amount of goals this season as Lewis Dunk - a centre-back. Two of his three assists this season came during his side's 9-0 demolition of Southampton and that was back in October. 


All this points to the conclusion that Leicester really should not fear losing their starting left-back in the summer. The only thing that could be dangerous is by letting him leave the club may set a precedent for other, more pivotal players to follow him out the club. 


Furthermore, Chilwell is not worth anything close to the crazy figure the Leicester would likely get for him - and this could make selling him too hard to resist. 


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