Does Kasper Schmeichel's new contract indicate Leicester are developing into a big club?
Leicester City continue to tie their best players down to new, improved contracts, with Kasper Schmeichel the latest to sign. The goalkeeper has agreed a new five year contract, which is great news for Leicester as he has been linked with a move away this summer.
The former Manchester City player joined in 2011 and has played a major part in the club’s rise to the very top of English football. During his spell at Leicester, he has accumulated more than 200 appearances and developed into one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League. Last season, he played every minute of the club’s remarkable title-winning campaign and has been rewarded for his role in the success. He had this to say on his new deal to LCFC TV:
“I’m just buzzing and I can’t wait for the season to get started. It was a very easy decision. It was a case of coming back after winning the Premier League and making sure that the hunger was the same within myself and the squad. I’ve come back absolutely convinced that this is the place for me to be.”
“We’ve taken some massive steps and ever since I arrived it’s been fantastic. I’ve loved being here from minute one.”
These quotes suggest that Schmeichel was considering his future, but his decision to stay emphasises that nothing has changed at the club and the mentality that helped them win the title remains. Despite Leicester having less talent than the top clubs in the Premier Leagues, they have more desire and determination, which can be an equally effective weapon.
As they are attempting to consolidate themselves as a top eight side in the division, it is important that they secure the long term futures of their best players, and Schmeichel certainly qualifies as that. He gives the side a solid base and rarely makes mistakes, while continuing to improve as a goalkeeper.
Goalkeepers generally peak around the 31-34 mark and Leicester have tied Schmeichel down for those years. They have managed to keep the majority of last season’s squad and securing the Denmark international’s future just a week before the Premier League kicks off will be a huge boost to both players and fans.
Kasper Schmeichel is a modern day keeper, capable of dominating his area and he possesses excellent distribution, which led to many Leicester attacks last season. He is the perfect goalkeeper for Leicester and will relish the opportunity of proving himself in the Champions League.
This summer was going to be crucial for Leicester, as success always draws attention to players performing well. They have lost Ngolo Kante, which is a huge blow as his work rate and excellent ball retrieval skills allowed Leicester to play the way they did. He does the work of two men in the midfield and Ranieri could field two strikers as a result. Nampalys Mendy looks to be a good addition, but it would be a huge ask to expect him to replicate Kante’s first season in England.
The contract extension agreed with Jamie Vardy was crucial and likely played a part in Schmeichel’s decision to agree to a new deal. Both have been at the club for a long time and that connection has allowed Leicester to keep two of their best players. There will have been a lot of interest in both players, but there is a unique story unfolding at the KP Stadium and they want to be a part of that.
Although Schmeichel signing a new contract is a great piece of business by the club, there is still more to do with Riyad Mahrez’s future remaining uncertain. He is the club’s most dangerous attacking player and has the ability to compete at the highest level. Leicester will be up against it in the Champions League, but if they keep Mahrez, they will have a player capable of winning matches on that stage. The winger may be tempted to stay after seeing Schmeichel commit to the club.
The goalkeeper may not be as good as David de Gea or Hugo Lloris, but he is one of the better operators in the league. Leicester aren’t a top six club, despite their title win last season. However, the club is growing and securing the future of Schmeichel for the next five years is an indication of that. The Danish international is going to be at his peak over the next few years and that is why this deal is impressive.
Featured image: All rights reserved by alexhannam
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