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Are Everton to blame for Leicester City’s struggles this season?

The Premier League champions are having a disastrous season

Barnsley v Everton: Pre-Season Friendly

The plight of Leicester City this season has been something that football fans around the world have watched with dismay. Claudio Ranieri and his men provided one of the stories of the century last year when they won the Premier League against all the odds. It is something we will never see happen again.

Things have taken a drastic turn for the worse this year, though. The Foxes sit 17th in the table and just a point above the relegation zone. Questions are being asked, with many scratching their heads about what has gone wrong at the King Power Stadium.

The loss of N’Golo Kante cannot be ignored; the Frenchman was influential in that title success and he has carried that into his Chelsea career - he’s on track to win the Premier League title in his first two seasons in English football, with different clubs.

Chelsea v Everton - Premier League
N’Golo Kante takes on Ross Barkley
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

There has also been an odd change in tactics, with everything that Leicester did well last season seemingly having been abandoned this year as Ranieri keeps trying new things to try and kick-start the season.

But do Everton have to take some of the blame as well? They stole Director of Football Steve Walsh in the summer and since his departure, the Foxes have not been the same. A look at their recruitment shows that.

  • They brought in Ron-Robert Zieler as back up to Kasper Schmeichel. He’s played nine games and conceded 16 goals.
  • In defence, they signed Luis Hernandez to provide competition to Robert Huth and Wes Morgan. He was sold in January.
  • Over the summer, they signed Nampalys Mendy and Daniel Amartey in an effort to replace Kante in the middle. Neither have worked out so they signed Wilfried Ndidi in January. Winger Bartosz Kaputska is yet to make a Premier League appearance.
  • Up front, both Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa were brought in to ease the burden on Jamie Vardy. They’ve managed just eight goals in all competitions between them.

None of them have proven to be good signings and if Leicester do avoid the drop this season, it will be interesting to see how many remain at the club this summer.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League
Steve Walsh here with Jamie Vardy
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Would they have been signed if Steve Walsh was still at the club? Would Everton’s star of the season Idrissa Gueye have ended up at the King Power? Would Ademola Lookman be at Everton? You have to doubt the two teams would look like the way they do now.

Of course, Everton are not to blame for all Leicester’s troubles but the departure of Walsh has made a huge difference, of that fact there is no doubt. If he wasn’t doing such a good job at Goodison Park, the Toffees might feel a little bit guilty.