In this article, we take a look at history books of Leicester City to find the best players to ever play in this great club, which one of the foxes do you expect to surely see in this list? Stay tuned to find out!
Leicester City might not be a successful club as some of their rivals from Midlands, but thanks to their amazing performances during the 2015-16 season of English Premier League and becoming league champions with Claudio Ranieri, now simply you can’t find any football lover who hasn’t heard about the Foxes. In today’s article of SportMob, we want to pick some of the
best Leicester City players of all time
and see how they shaped this club over the years. Bur first, let’s take a brief look at this club’s history.
Leicester City was established in 1884, and the Foxes share the record for most English second division title wins, with seven titles with the Manchester City. Given crowning the English second division titles a record amount of times, before 2015-16 season, Leicester never won a Premier League or first division title. In their history, the Foxes has played in four FA Cup finals, but they have never won it! It's the most FA Cup finals appearances for any team without winning! However, they have won 3 League Cups in 1967, 1997, and 2000. Throughout their rich history, Leicester only spent one season outside the top two leagues.
The club will forever be remembered for winning the surprise title in 2015/16. Leicester's English Premier League triumph was among the greatest shocks ever in modern football history, as they were the sixth team to lift the Premier League title.Leicester City
was also the first-time champions of a top division title since 1978, when their rivals, Nottingham Forest, won the championship. When the club won the EPL in 2015-16 season, they were only a year back to the top tier after a ten-year absence from Premier League.
Now that we know more about this club’s history, now it is the time to get to know the
best Leicester City players of all time
. Note that this list is not made on a particular order.
Leicester City plays their home games in King Power Stadium since 2002. With a total capacity of 32,261 people, the highest ever attendance at this stadium was at a pre-season friendly game at the summer of 2011 when 32,188 people watched their favorite club play against Spanish giants Real Madrid. This stadium was also the stage when the club crowned English Premier League champions in 2015-16. As we are going to unveil the list of best Leicester City players of all time, how many of that winning team do you think will be in our list? Let’s find out.
Gordon Banks was one of the legendary goalkeepers in English football and with around 300 league appearances for the Foxes between 1959 and 1967, we can definitely include him in the list of best Leicester City players of all time. With 73 matches played forEngland National Team
, Gordon is also one the most capped goalkeepers in English football, and everyone will always remember him for his amazing performances which helped England win the 1966 World Cup.
As one of the
greatest players in the history of Leicester City
, before becoming a Leicester player in 1959 for a fee of 7000 pounds, Gordon Banks began his career in Chesterfield, and it was at Leicester City where he got his first international cap on a match against Scotland in 1963. Gordon Banks appeared in all matches of the 1966 World Cup for England, which ended with a 4-2 win over West Germany in the Wembley. He was runner-up in two FA Cup Finals during his eight years career at Leicester and claimed the League Cup with the Foxes in 1964, finally joining Stoke in 1967. He remained with the Potters until he retired from professional football.
As on the two goalkeepers in the list of best Leicester City players of all time, Gordon Banks is one of the legendary Leicester City players ever and will always be remembered by the Foxes fans.
Deemed as one of the greatest English football strikers of all time, you simply can’t write about the best Leicester City players of all time and don’t include Gary Lineker in it. Born 30 November of 1960 in Leicester, he has played the most games and scored the most goals for his home club Leicester City among all the clubs he has played for them. Lineker also played at 80 international matches for England, scoring 48 goals.
After quitting school in 1977, Lineker started his football career at his home team Leicester City, becoming professional in the 1978-79 season before playing his first senior match in a 2-0 victory against Oldham Athletic in the Second Division at Filbert Street Stadium on New Year's Day 1979. A year after, with 19 starts, he won a Second Division championship trophy but appeared in just nine league matches in 1980-81 as Leicester went right back down.
Nevertheless, in 1981-82, he became a key player for the club, netting 19 goals in all tournaments that season. While Leicester lost out on promotion, they made it to the FA Cup semi-finals, and then a year later, Lineker netted 26 times in the Second Division, helping the club win promotion.
He experienced playing as a regular First Division player for the first time in 1983-84 and was the second leading scorer in the division with 22 goals, while Leicester struggled to finish around the top of the table. In 1984–85, Lineker was the first division's joint top goalscorer with 24 goals and established a successful relationship with Alan Smith. As one of the best Leicester City players ever, he was gaining the interest of larger clubs by this time, however, and a transfer from Filbert Street was looking certain.
Being the second highest Leicester goalscorer of all time and Leicester record holder for most goals in a season is enough to put Arthur Rowley in the list of the best Leicester City players of all time. Born 21 April of 1926 in Shrewsbury, England, Arthur Rowley played 303 league matches for Leicester City in an 8 years career between 1950 and 1958. He also holds the record of most goals in English league football.
After playing only a season at the first division for Fulham, Rowley was sold to Leicester City. Leicester City manager Norman Bullock was initially criticized by Leicester supporters for signing the comparatively unknown Rowley as a replacement for the fans favorite Jack Lee. Although after a weak start as a center forward, Bullock transferred Rowley to "number 10" within the left role, which would be where he mark his name at the Leicester City on 23 September, when he scored Leicester's goal in a 2-1 loss against Coventry City." At the end of his first season, his 28 goals had satisfied the fans, even though the club still ended in a poor 14th place.
Rowley netted 265 goals in 321 games throughout his 8 seasons at Leicester City, including 16 hat-tricks. He is surely one of the Leicester City legends of all time and deserves a place in our list.
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Jamie Vardy is one the players from the 2015-16 team who won theEnglish Premier League
in our list of best Leicester City players of all time. Since joining the club in 2012, Jamie Vardy has played in over 280 league matches, scoring 132 goals and as he’s a current player for the Foxes, he can still add to these numbers and establish himself as one of the
legendary Leicester City players ever.
Jamie has also played 26 matches for England, scoring 7 goals.
Leicester City signed Jamie Vardy in spring of 2012 for a record transfer fee of 1 million pounds, which was a non-League record fee at its time. Jamie’s impact was instant as he assisted the club to win the Championship in 2014 with 16 goals. His best performances for the club came in the shocking 2015-16 season as Jamie Vardy broke the record of Dutch Ruud van Nistelrooy after scoring in 11 consecutive matches at EPL. After being crowned as champions of England at that season, he was voted as the Premier League Player of the Season and also the FWA Footballer of the Year.
During the 2019-20 season, he also managed to win the English Golden Boot award after scoring 23 goals for his team. He is currently the oldest player to win the Golden Boot. With such a good record for the club and the fact that he recently renewed his contract with the club, he can absolutely add to his achievements at Leicester and become greatest players in the history of Leicester City.
The son of legendary Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel,Kasper Schmeichel
is the second goalkeeper in our list of best Leicester City players of all time. The 34 years old goalie started his career at Manchester City and played for different clubs before finding himself a regular spot in Leicester City first team in 2011. He has played 346 league matches for the club since then and is on his route to becoming one of the legendary Leicester City players ever.
After the loan spells with Darlington, Bury, Falkirk, Cardiff City and Coventry City while he was aManchester City
player, plus a one-year permanent period in Notts County, Schmeichel signed for Sven-Göran Eriksson's Leicester City from Leeds United in 2011 when the longtime England boss was building a team to win promotion to the Premier League.
Although Eriksson's attempts were eventually inadequate to get the promotion, his successor, Nigel Pearson, finished Leicester's 10-year top-flight absence – with Schmeichel featuring in all 46 City games as the Leicester captured the 2013/14 Championship title with 102 points.
Since then in the Premier League Kasper Schmeichel is one of the regular players for the Foxes and after renewing his contract until 2023, we can expect more great performances from one of the best Leicester City players ever.
The only African player to feature in the list of best Leicester City players of all time and one of the players from the 2015-16 season team, Riyad Mahrez is definitely one of the
Leicester City best footballers of all time
with his great performances at the 158 league matches for the club. He has also scored some 42 league goals and will always be remembered as one of the best wingers of the Foxes.
Riyad Mahrez signed with English club Leicester City in the winter transfer window of 2014, guiding them to lift the Championship at the end of his first season and winning promotion to the English Premier League. He was selected as the Algerian Footballer of the Year at the end of 2015-16 season, the PFA Players' Player of the Year and also he was a part of the PFA Team of the Year in the English Premier League when he assisted Leicester City to secure the Premier League title.
In 2018, Manchester City signed Riyad Mahrez from the Foxes, where he won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup in his debut season. Although the Leicester fans were disappointed by his decision to leave for the Man City, but there is no doubt that he is one of the greatest players in the history of Leicester City.
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As the only player in our list of best Leicester City players of all time with most club records including most top tier goals for the club with 203 goals and the most goals in a single top tier season with 34 goals, Arthur Chandler is surely one of the Leicester City best footballers of all time. In 12 years playing for the club between 1923 and 1935, Chandler scored 259 league goals in a total of 393 league matches.
With 273 goals scored in all competitions, he is the all-time record goalscorer of the club. Leicester City boss Peter Hodge in the summer of 1923 when he was 27 years old. During his career at the club, he put on a lot of top performances, scoring lots of goals and setting records after records. When he scored his last goal for the Foxes he was 39 years and 34 days old, thus becoming the oldest goalscorer of the club.
After leaving Leicester, he joined Notts County, playing 10 matches and scoring 6 goals before retiring from professional football. After that, he returned to the club and had different coaching roles.
Between all the players that we have introduced in the list of best Leicester City players of all time we’ve had different players with different records for the club, and here comes Graham Cross, who holds the record for most appearances for the club in all competitions with 599 matches played for Leicester City between 1960 and 1976. Of this appearances, 498 were in league matches, where he managed to score 29 goals.
Although he was a good player and many consider him as one of the best players of the Foxes, but he failed to convince Ray Illingworth to call him to represent the England National Team. He retired from playing professional football at the age of 36, only three years after leaving Leicester City.
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As the only Jamaican player in the list of
best Leicester City players of all time
, We Morgan is one of the few players who became team Captain shortly after he joined the Foxes. As a defender, he played in 277 league matches for the club since he joined Leicester on 2012, scoring 11 goals. In January 2012, Morgan was recruited by former boss Nigel Pearson from East Midlands opponents Nottingham Forest and since then has been nothing less of a genius in the club's defence.
In 2014, when the Team finished a 10-year absence from the English Premier League as Sky Bet Championship winners,Morgan
was the captain of Leicester, before winning the largest football prize in England only 2 years later. Throughout their adventurer journey to the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals in 2016/17, he also was the Leicester City captain and continues to be an important figure for the team.
Morgan netted his season's second goal in the last minute of a 2-1 victory at Burnley in March of 2019 and agreed on a new one-year deal until June 2020. In the summer of 2020, however, another new contract saw the Foxes captain prolong his tenure at King Power Stadium by another year until 2021, which ensures he will spend at least 10 years at the club as a Fox and establish himself even more as one of the
best Leicester City players ever
Although he is the player with least league appearances for the club in our list of best Leicester City players of all time, but with his amazing performances in the 2015-16 season where he helped the Foxes to capture the EPL title for the first time in club’s history, N'Golo Kanté definitely deserves a place in the list of
Leicester City legends of all time
Steve Walsh, who also coordinatedJamie Vardy
and Riyad Mahrez's move to the Foxes, scouted N'Golo Kanté for Leicester City. On the summer of 2015, he put pen to a four-year deal with Leicester for a fee of 8 million euros. Five days later, he played his first match for the club by replacing Vardy for the last eight minutes of a 4-2 victory against Sunderland. He netted his first goal in a 2-1 home victory over Watford on November 7.
For his regularly outstanding performances for Leicester, he received much acclaim and much applause and was generally perceived to be a big factor in the great form of the club when they ended up winning the 2015-16 Premier League, regularly making a large number of tackles and interceptions. He was one of 4 Leicester players appointed to the PFA Team of the Year back in April. At the end of the season, Kanté had completed 157 interceptions and 175 tackles, better than any other player that season.
In the summer of 2016, Kanté was the first core member of the team to depart the Foxes. His absence was a significant factor in the sharp downturn of Leicester's form in the next season, as Leicester City was unable to recruit an equally capable midfielder to replace him as one of the Leicester City legends of all time.