Leicester City under craig shakespeare

5 most-improved Leicester City stars under Craig Shakespeare

Call him a miracle worker, and you won’t be wrong; Craig Shakespeare’s supernatural touch has been felt all around the King Power since he replaced Claudio Ranieri as Leicester City coach in February.

Against all the odds, the Englishman has led the Foxes to six successive victories in all competitions, which is an unbelievable turnaround considering the club’s horrible run before his appointment. Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Sunderland was his fifth on the bounce in the Premier League; making him only the third manager to achieve such a feat after Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola.

Craig Shakespeare is the third manager in history to win his first five Premier League games in charge.

Esteemed company. pic.twitter.com/WnH7vrcF32

— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 4, 2017

Shakespeare's extraordinary impact has been visible on the players from day one after Ranieri was booted out of the club. The whole team appears to have stepped up and are now operating in an all new confidence level starting from the 53-year-old's first game against Liverpool. But some players seem to have improved tremendously more than others; here are five of them.

1 – Jamie Vardy

Everything about Jamie Vardy has drastically changed since Ranieri was dismissed from the King Power. From looking utterly uninterested on the pitch, the 30-year-old is now reborn and looks somewhat like a new signing for the Foxes; one who is trying his best to impress his new manager. The way he chases every single ball, his superb work rate, and exquisite finishing have helped spur the Foxes out of the relegation zone. A player who managed just four league goals in his previous 22 games has now notched a whopping six in his last five appearances; highlighting his revival under Shakespeare.

2 – Wilfred Ndidi

He might not be the like-for-like replacement for N’Golo Kante. However, Wilfred Ndidi has proven to be a useful addition to the Foxes squad. Signed from Genk in January, the young Nigerian was expected to take some time to acclimatise to the frantic pace of the Premier League; but incredibly, he has hit the ground running almost instantly. He began by notching 11 tackles in Shakespeare’s first game against Liverpool, a statistic that matched Kanté’s best output in any single game last campaign. He then showcased his penchant for long-range goals, grabbing a screamer in the 2-0 win over Stoke City, which was a follow-up to his thunderbolt against Derby in the FA Cup. Despite playing from defensive midfield, the youngster has been involved in three goals for the Foxes. It’s no wonder Shakespeare admitted that Ndidi “looks tailor-made for the Premier League.”

3 – Robert Huth

German defender, Robert Huth, is another player enjoying an incredible run of form under Shakespeare. The 32-year-old has superbly marshalled the Foxes’ back four in the absence of regular partner and skipper, Wes Morgan, who has missed their last three games. Huth has played every minute under the Englishman; helping the club to three clean sheets against Sevilla, Stoke City, and Sunderland. His attacking proficiency was also essential in two games – against West Ham and Hull City where he scored and provided an assist.

4 – Marc Albrighton

Just like Vardy in the attack, Marc Albrighton has simply been on fire for the Premier League holders since Shakespeare’s arrival. Albrighton, a player who displayed so much quality last season, had struggled to replicate that form this term. His only meaningful impact before Shakespeare’s confirmation was a solitary assist in 21 league appearances. However, the 27-year-old has literally transformed into a creative beast having racked up four assists in his last four games. His latest were two moments of brilliance barely seven minutes after replacing Demarai Gray in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Sunderland. First, he set up fellow substitute Islam Slimani to nod home the opener before darting down the flank to pick out Vardy, who had the time and space to take a touch before applying a finish high into the net.

5 - Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel is another player having a much-improved performance under Shakespeare. The Danish shot-stopper was clearly Leicester's best player prior to Ranieri's exit with his heroics responsible for the club's improbable Champions League streak. And the 30-year-old has obviously stepped up the bar in the club's last six outings- conceding in just three of those games. A hot favourite for the club's player of the season, Schmeichel is already being tipped to leave the reigning champions at the end of the season.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

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