Leicester's new signings failing to make impact for champions
By Football Whispers
Last Updated: 21/01/17 3:58pm
After their incredible title triumph last season, Leicester City not only held on to most of their star names, but also bolstered their squad with more than £75million of new additions.
But things have not gone to plan this term, as they lie 15th in the Premier League, much closer to the relegation zone than the top four.
Football Whispers have taken a close look at Leicester's signings, delving into their individual statistical performances to see whether they are cutting the mustard at the King Power Stadium.
After pulling off the underdog story of the century, lifting their first top-flight title last season, Leicester had to use all of their might to fend off the established elite clubs aiming to pick off their brightest stars.
They were powerless to stop midfield dynamo N'Golo Kante from joining Chelsea in a £32million deal, but they held on to striker Jamie Vardy and PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez.
And with Champions League football and a first title defence on the horizon, Leicester spent big - but Football Whispers' analysis suggests several of the new faces are not performing as well as the players who were already at Leicester...
Islam Slimani - Striker
Algerian poacher Slimani was the Foxes' marquee summer signing, joining from Sporting for a club record £28m.
The 28-year-old was prolific during his three full seasons in Lisbon, netting 57 goals in 109 appearances, while his pedigree also extends to international level where he has bagged 26 goals in 46 caps.
Brought in to ease the goalscoring burden on Vardy, Slimani has been steady, if unspectacular. His winning goal against West Ham United on New Year's Eve snapped a five-game barren spell, but he did manage to contribute two assists in that period.
At 6ft 2in and a powerful header of the ball, Slimani's aerial prowess gives Leicester's attack another dimension. Four of his five Premier League goals have been headers.
However, Slimani's 38 per cent shot accuracy is significantly lower than positional rivals Vardy (50 per cent), Shinji Okazaki (43 per cent) and Leonardo Ulloa (57 per cent).
Ahmed Musa - Winger
Although he is also capable of playing up front, Ahmed Musa, a £16m signing from CSKA Moscow, is predominantly deployed on the wing, where his blistering pace can torment opposition full-backs.
Musa has made a total of 17 Premier League appearances for the Foxes, but has only started on six occasions.
Although his speed across the turf can be devastatingly effective, the 24-year-old Nigerian is often found wanting when it comes to end product. His average of just 0.5 key passes per game leaves him trailing fellow Foxes wide men Mark Albrighton (1.6) and Mahrez (1.3).
And despite scoring twice, Musa is yet to register an assist this term - a statistic he could perhaps improve by upping his average of 0.3 crosses per game, which again is below Mahrez (0.4) and Albrighton (1.2).
The ability to dribble beyond opposing defenders is a desired characteristic within any winger. Musa's 1.2 successful take-ons per game is a respectable output, but is again beaten by Mahrez (2.2) and Albrighton (1.3).
Nampalys Mendy - Central Midfielder
Earmarked as the man to fill the gaping void left by Kante's departure, Nampalys Mendy was brought in from Ligue 1 side OGC Nice for £13m.
Injury has restricted the 24-year-old Frenchman to just three Premier League starts, meaning the sample size of his performance data is too small to draw any sweeping conclusions about his suitability to Leicester's system.
Having been involved in two draws and a defeat, Mendy is yet to be involved in a league win this term. Despite this, his pass completion rate of 84 per cent is the highest on the team, suggesting he is trustworthy and accurate in possession.
Defensively, his 0.7 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game falls some way short of Kante's averages for last season (4.7 and 4.2 respectively), but with only 226 minutes of Premier League football under his belt, he will still be adjusting to his new surroundings.
Ron-Robert Zieler - Goalkeeper
Former Manchester United youngster Ron-Robert Zieler returned to England from the Bundesliga this summer, moving to the King Power Stadium from Hannover 96.
The six-cap German international was signed as an understudy to Kasper Schmeichel, but, with the Foxes competing both domestically and in Europe, injury to the regular No 1 and Ranieri's desire to rotate has seen Zieler start 10 games this season.
In 963 minutes of action across all competitions, he has made 27 saves and 50 accurate clearances.
His average of one save every 35.67 minutes falls just short of Schmeichel's (25.6 minutes), as does his rate of an accurate clearance every 19.26 minutes compared to the Danes's one every 18.46 minutes.
Bartosz Kapustka - Winger
Promising winger Kapustka joined the Foxes off the back of making a positive impression with Poland at the European Championship's in France last summer.
The youngster started twice and made a further three substitute appearances on their run to the quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Portugal on penalties.
Leicester moved quickly to snap up the 20-year-old from Polish side Cracovia, forking out a fee reported to be in the region of £7m.
As it stands, the lightning fast and skillful attacker has made just one first-team appearance for his new club, coming off the bench for the final six minutes of Leicester's FA Cup third-round victory over Everton earlier this month.
Ranieri appears intent on slowly blooding the gifted winger, who already has 13 international caps. If his displays at Euro 2016 are anything to go by, Kapustka will be one to watch in the future, and could be the eventual heir to Mahrez on the right side of the Leicester midfield.
Wilfred Ndidi - Central Midfield
Another budding youngster with just two Leicester appearances to his name is Wilfred Ndidi, a £17m January signing from Gent.
The 20-year-old's only Premier League outing to date may have been a 3-0 thumping at the hands of league leaders Chelsea, but that didn't stop him impressing with a Kante-like output of three tackles and four interceptions.
Like Kapustka, the 6ft 2in Nigerian international was bought with the future in mind, but Ndidi could yet have a powerful impact on Leicester's present.