With the 2017/18 season in the books, we’ll be reviewing the performance of the squad by position, today it’s the defenders. Previous reviews: GK
Leicester City’s 60 goals conceded gave them just the 16th best defensive record this season. The Foxes improved slightly on 63 conceded last year, but in a higher scoring season in general, that was good enough for 12th. Both years were a world away from the 3rd ranked unit in 2015/16.
It’s a group that should expect a large degree of turnover this summer, with RB Ricardo Pereira already signed, Robert Huth already leaving and several more deals linked so far.
Just as quickly as Simpson arrived and became the surprise answer to our fullback issues, it seems his time as a mainstay is now over. Simpson played his fewest league minutes in a Leicester shirt this year and his per minute defensive production still dropped off.
Puel asks for something different from the position than his predecessors, and Danny just doesn't fit that. He would still be a solid back up to Pereira, but he might want to move on - there’s plenty of Premier League teams that could do worse.
The captain’s season was defined as much by his absence as his presence. He missed 6 league games in the second half of the season, 5 through injury and once dropped while healthy. Without him, they managed three clean sheets (50%), compared to six in 32 (18%) when he featured (and that includes 24 minutes against Huddersfield).
On his return to the lineup, the team conceded 20 in 10 games, considerably worse than the eight given up in his six game absence. Occasionally he looked back to his best, but it might be time to move on this summer, now that the other CB position is locked down. If he wasn't captain, it would’ve happened already.
The first (and probably last) wholly positive review so far. Maguire wasn't expected to start, despite his £16m fee, until Robert Huth went down injured in preseason, so things could have been a lot worse.
The former Sheffield United and Hull City man was a revelation, going on to win the fans’ and players’ Player of the Year awards. In fact, he played so well that he’s earned himself a regular place in the England team and the slightly dubious honour of the 2nd heaviest player to be travel to the 2018 World Cup. All in all an excellent signing and a great season (told you so).
The 4th player on my list, and probably the 3rd who’s lost his place as a regular starter for next season. Fuchs defensive numbers, and especially his consistency, dropped off a little this year, bit it seems that his major failing was the same as Danny Simpson: Puel wants a different kind of player.
As it happens at LB, that kind of player was already there in Ben Chilwell, who became the clear first choice for the new manager as the season went on.
Big Bob didn’t play a single minute this year. His time at the club, and maybe in the Premier League is done, but we had some good times.
It took the deadline day loanee over half the season to crack the lineup for a league game. Despite strong performances and good results when he played, he couldn’t hold onto the spot. I’d have him back in a heartbeat, but will he have us back?
The Tunisian will be heading to the World Cup, despite logging more minutes with the youth teams than the first team this year. Whether or not he’s good enough has never seemed to be the question, but I’d be surprised if him or the team had much desire to keep this going.
Chilwell was the whipping boy for many fans this season and I honestly don’t get it. His defensive game certainly could do with some work, but the talent, even defensively, is undeniable to me, especially in a 21 year old.
Understand Ryan Sessegnon has not received any contact over an England World Cup place as things stand but place on the standby list not out of the question. Also hear Chilwell and Sancho could be on standby. #England— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) May 16, 2018
He also gave the ball away far more than the man he replaced, but that’s almost entirely because he’s much more willing to run with the ball, which an aspect Puel demands from his fullbacks, and allowed him to log more assists and key passes than Fuchs in fewer minutes. It wasn't the perfect season by any stretch, but it was a good strong step in the right direction as he progresses as a player.
How would you rate our defenders’ season?
This poll is closed
A+ for Maguire, everyone else is an F