Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has lived a very interesting first inning in Premier League. The Northern Irish manager first shot to fame during his two-year stint with Swansea City. He was responsible for guiding the Welsh side to Premier League for the first time in their history.
His success with Swansea got him the job at Liverpool in 2012. His first season in Merseyside was a disappointment, but he almost created history in 2013-14.
Rodgers’ Liverpool side, with the famous attack of Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling, came agonizingly close to winning the much-coveted league trophy in 13-14. However, it was not meant to be for the Reds and Rodgers, and Suarez left the club in the following summer. For some reason, Rodgers decided to replace the Uruguayan with Mario Balotelli ahead of the 14-15 season. His Liverpool endured a rather embarrassing campaign in 14-15 following the highs of the previous season. The Reds crashed out of the group stage of the Champions League and finished sixth in the Premier League. Not long after, he was replaced by Jurgen Klopp in the hot seat.
Some football fans might say that Rodgers was never given a second chance at Liverpool, but most believe that his brief success with the Reds was down to the heroics of Suarez and co.
Which brings us to the present. Following a successful stint with Celtic, Rodgers took up the job with Leicester in February, and he has a point to prove.
Can Rodgers guide Leicester back into Europe?
It is safe to say that Leicester City failed to fully utilize their historic Premier League triumph. Under Claude Puel, the Foxes were stuck in limbo as they finished ninth for two consecutive seasons.
As the likes of Wolves, West Ham and Everton seemed like making progress last season, Leicester needed to keep up. The Foxes responded by appointing the former Liverpool manager in February.
For Rodgers, the Leicester job was a much-needed opportunity to salvage his reputation. There was not much time left last season for Rodgers to make an impact with the Foxes. However, the upcoming season is a perfect opportunity for both Rodgers and Leicester City to make a comeback. Rodgers has been handed the responsibility of guiding the Foxes back into Europe, and he has been ably supported in the window as the Foxes have spent more than £70m in the market.
Leicester City have paid 45m Euros to Monaco to sign loanee Youri Tielemans on a permanent deal. Furthermore, Ayoze Perez has arrived in a £30m deal from Newcastle United. Perez was the top-scorer for the Magpies last season, and his acquisition would add goals to the Leicester side.
However, Leicester might lose centre-back Harry Maguire this summer. Nevertheless, the England international is expected to bring in £80m, which Leicester can use to strengthen multiple areas on the pitch.
On paper, Leicester City are not inferior to any of Wolves, West Ham United, Everton and Watford. If Rodgers can get the best out the current Leicester side, then they should be challenging for a top-seven spot this season. Maybe even top-six, considering the uncertainty around some of the top sides.