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The battle amongst Leicester City strikers

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With a number of goals under his belt during his four-year spell with Leicester, David Nugent will be looking to earn his starting place back in the team this season. It is no question that Nugent had a good relationship with Nigel Pearson, so he will have to work harder to impress Ranieri. Nugent has always given maximum effort for the Foxes and he has one of the best attitudes to the game in the squad, giving his all for the first team and showing great strength of character when trying to regain his place in the starting eleven.

Nugent recorded 20 goals and 12 assists in Leicester’s promotion-winning campaign, finishing as the team’s top goal scorer, and scored some important goals on their return to the Premier League in games including the win at West Brom and the dramatic comeback at Liverpool. He equalled Vardy’s five goals last season, and similarly offers more than just goals in his game through his attitude and work rate. Nugent may not be first on the team sheet, but he can definitely give Ranieri something to consider in his team selection.

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Andrej Kramarić could be the surprise package this season as although the young Croatian didn’t hit the goal scoring form he is renowned in his few appearances; his potential was recognised by the Leicester fans. Kramarić’s transfer in January was another club record, at an estimated £9 million, but finding it difficult to settle in English football he scored only three times in all competitions.

With the pre-season matches beginning imminently, Kramarić can spend time with the squad and stamp his name on the team. His 21 goals in 18 league appearances for HNK Rijeka were enough to win the Golden Boot in the top flight in Croatia, even though he spent the second half of the season with Leicester City. Despite only making a brief appearance on the final day in the 5-1 victory over QPR, Kramarić put away his only chance, demonstrating the clinical finishing that sparked Leicester’s interest. With time to settle and facing a full season with the Foxes, he can push for a consistent place in the team and hope to show the talent he has on offer.

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The final striker open to selection is Shinji Okazaki; Leicester City’s new signing will be aiming to begin his spell at the club in the starting eleven. Although Okazaki is unproven in the Premier League, his goals elsewhere are something to be hopeful about. He has scored 37 goals In 128 appearances in the Bundesliga during his time at Stuttgart and Mainz, and he has a highly established international career with Japan, having scored 43 times for his national side.

Okazaki’s place in the team may only depend on what Ranieri sees in the 29-year-old as he faces tough competition from the other four strikers, who all have something to show from their appearances in the Premier League. It is difficult to call how many appearances Okazaki will make in his first season in the top flight, but if this season is anything like the last he will certainly earn his chance to prove himself.

With Leicester looking to have completed their transfer dealing in the attack and defence departments, it is only the midfield that needs strengthening; beginning with a decision from last year’s player of the season Esteban Cambiasso on where his future lies.

Ranieri is beginning to build upon the team Nigel Pearson created with no drastic changes but implementing his own Italian style on the pitch, and it looks to be another exciting season ahead.

Andrej Kramraic bundesliga David Nugent Leonardo Ulloa Shinji Okazaki Strikers

About Mark Sheppard

I am an 18-year-old Journalism and Media student at De Montfort University, Leicester. I enjoy writing, especially about sport because my interests involve football, snooker, rugby, F1 and tennis.

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