It may seem somewhat vulture-like to look for bargains from relegated teams, but we’ve done it anyway. As part of our Relegated Transfer Targets series, we have analysed three players from Leicester City who should be targeted by current Premier League sides.

It is one of the more discussed topics among fans once the season is over. Which players from the relegated teams could your side pinch for a potential bargain fee?

Losing Premier League status can be concerning enough, but those who have fallen through the trap door also have to worry about keeping their better players as those who remain in the Premier League look to take advantage of any disgruntlement and possible related release clauses.

It can be a productive strategy, as Liverpool found out when they signed Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United in 2016 and Andy Robertson from Hull City a year later, while Arsenal procured Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United after his second top-flight relegation in two seasons in 2021.

Here, we’ve looked at Leicester City and whether some Premier League clubs could go Fox hunting this summer.

James Maddison

His was the name on most people’s lips when Leicester’s fate was sealed on the final day of the season. Not that long ago, Maddison was the subject of many a debate piece about whether he should be in England’s 2022 World Cup squad. He made it to Qatar, didn’t play a single minute, and is – for the time being – set to ply his trade in the Championship in 2023-24.

The 26-year-old will surely have plenty of options to head straight back to the Premier League, though. Despite relegation he still managed 19 goal involvements in the league this season (10 goals, nine assists) and created 69 chances, at least 30 more than any other Leicester player.

Maddison can be seen by some as a soft touch, but his defensive numbers are not bad for an attacking midfielder. He won 55.9% of his 322 duels in the league this season and won 26 of his 51 tackles attempted. He was also 15th out of Premier League midfielders for total carries per 90 (15.5).

Potential destinations could include Newcastle, who have already been linked with Maddison and will be looking to strengthen ahead of their Champions League campaign next season.

Tottenham have never properly replaced Christian Eriksen since he left for Inter in 2020, with none of their midfield options this season coming close to Maddison’s 2.5 chances created per 90 in the Premier League (Pierre-Emile Højbjerg – 0.9, Pape Sarr – 0.9, Yves Bissouma – 0.8, Rodrigo Bentancur 0.7, Oliver Skipp – 0.6). New boss Ange Postecoglu may also need to replace some of the goals of Harry Kane should their talismanic striker finally depart.

Or perhaps Aston Villa could see Maddison as a possible replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who was unable to live up to his early promise after arriving from Barcelona, scoring just once in 22 games in all competitions this season (nine starts).

James Maddison Assists

Harvey Barnes

Someone who plays off the left called Barnes? You might think Liverpool would be all over that.

Probably not given Jürgen Klopp already has Luis Díaz, Darwin Núñez, Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo at his disposal, but there should be plenty of other clubs looking at Barnes this summer.

The 25-year-old was the top scorer for the Foxes with 13 Premier League goals this term, including what potentially looked to be a crucial one on the final day as he played a neat one-two with Kelechi Iheanacho before slotting home against West Ham, albeit ultimately in vain.

As shown by the xG shot map below, he scores most often from the left but can mix them up in terms of distance, either working his way close to goal or finding the net from outside the box, as he did on three occasions in 2022-23.

Harvey Barnes 2022-23 Premier League Goals

Tottenham have been linked recently after they decided not to make Arnaut Danjuma’s loan from Villarreal permanent, though Barnes would surely struggle to see much game time ahead of Son Heung-min, especially with Spurs not in Europe next season.

Aston Villa might be a more realistic option as they have a UEFA Europa Conference League campaign to look forward to, so will need more bodies. Of Villa players, only striker Ollie Watkins (15) scored more than Barnes in the league in 2022-23, with no-one else even getting half as many as the Leicester man’s 13 goals (Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Danny Ings all scored six).

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

A perhaps slightly underrated member of the Leicester team, which itself isn’t all that highly rated, Dewsbury-Hall is one who may fly under the radar.

Speaking of radars, ours suggest that Liverpool could do worse than take a glance at the 23-year-old midfielder. The four players he profiled most closely with this season include reported Reds target Khéphren Thuram from Nice.

Dewsbury-Hall Stats Leicester 2022-23

As seen in his Opta radar, he likes a dribble and gets himself into the opposition box where he can. The added bonus of counting as a homegrown option as Liverpool look to revamp their midfield could tempt Klopp, but he likely wouldn’t be the only one.

Dewsbury-Hall created 39 chances from open play in his 31 league appearances, coming in at 14th in the league out of midfielders who played at least 19 games for open-play chances created per 90 (1.5).

Brighton could potentially look at him as a replacement for Liverpool-bound Alexis Mac Allister, while Everton might consider him as an option if they need to sell Amadou Onana to help fund their summer business.

Of course, he also spent the whole 2020-21 season on loan at Luton Town in the Championship. With Rob Edwards’ side looking for upgrades in their midfield ahead of their first top-flight campaign since 1991-92, they might look to stretch their budget on a player who is already popular with their fanbase.

Kelechi Iheanacho

It was perhaps a neat summation of Leicester’s season that Iheanacho received the club’s men’s player of the season award, despite scoring just five league goals and making only 11 league starts, with a further 17 substitute appearances. He did score three goals in the FA Cup, which may have helped, although all three were against opposition outside the top flight (Gillingham, Walsall and Blackburn Rovers).

Of those who played at least 1,000 minutes, the former Manchester City striker did come out top for his team in terms of attacking sequence involvements per 90 in the Premier League (5.8 – 3.0 shots, 1.7 chances created, 1.1 involvements in the build-up to a shot).

Kelechi Iheanacho Stats in 2022-23

If he can stay fit, Iheanacho at 26 years old could still be a useful weapon for someone. Perhaps his former City teammate Vincent Kompany could find a place for him in his impressive Burnley side now they’re back in the Premier League, especially with Iheanacho’s experience of playing for City and Kompany’s Clarets playing in a similar manner.

With no Ivan Toney available for a while, Brentford might consider the Nigerian at least on a short-term basis. He is a different profile of player to Toney, less of a goal threat and less physical, but Iheanacho could be a creative force for the Bees, creating 1.8 chances from open play per 90 this season compared to Toney’s 0.7.

Jamie Vardy

In the last year, Sheffield Wednesday supporter Jamie Vardy has seen his wife lose a high-profile court case, Sheffield United promoted to the Premier League, been relegated with Leicester himself and seen his beloved Wednesday almost make a mess of the League One playoffs, before eventually getting over the line.

Vardy could therefore be playing against The Owls next season in the Championship, unless he fancies one last crack at the big time. At the age of 36, that might be a bit optimistic, especially after he scored just three goals in 37 Premier League games this season (19 starts).

Jamie Vardy 2022-23 Goals

The likes of Everton and Wolves are in desperate need of goals, which Vardy has provided plenty of in previous campaigns, scoring at least 13 in each of the last seven Premier League seasons prior to 2022-23. Newly promoted Burnley and Luton Town could also benefit from adding the experience of a Premier League winner.

Sheffield United would probably be out of the question, though.

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