As we draw closer to yet another Premier League season, the big question on everyone's lips here is: are we in for another shock season? Are we going to see another Leicester City rise up and take the crown? Or will the fabled old guard step up this season and reassert their dominance upon the league...
This year, Leicester go into the season as domestic champions, and Pot 1 seeds in the Champions League. In a season where their small squad is undoubtedly going to be stretched, top clubs are going to treat them as rivals. Without Kante, there is a sense that Leicester don't have enough top-level leadership to successfully respond.
A side can take time to gel, but with United fans now having waited so long since Fergie's retirement to challenge for the title, I don't think Mourinho and his team will be afforded this luxury. But maybe this is the kind of pressure they can thrive under. And with this incredible talent coming in to the side, United can become a force to be reckoned with again.
The Premier League was the first top-flight title Ranieri has lifted, so the forthcoming season is as alien to him as it is to the Leicester supporters. The first assignment will be to persevere through a trying pre-season of speculation and counter-speculation to portray a togetherness and keep producing the fairytale football that shaped the most compelling narrative last season.
It might seem foolish to talk about a football competition and a democratic election as if they were comparable. Maybe I've extrapolated a certain mawkish sentimentality from the simple facts. Maybe. But if they only other option is certainty of failure, I'll take possibility of the improbable, thanks.
With the success of the Foxes, the city itself will at last get the recognition it deserves. When people across the world spin a globe, they will point to Leicester; when they visit the United Kingdom, they may now make the journey to the centre of world club football, the King Power stadium. Leicester's motto, 'Semper Eadem' means 'Always the Same'. This is a rare moment to disagree with history, but things are not the same in Leicester anymore, and they will never be again.
The Foxes have proven that passion and strong teamwork can transform dreams into reality. If your small business is taking off, getting the right structure and conventions in place now can help you preserve the organic impetus that got your business where it is today. Who knows, maybe in a few years you'll be leading the pack...?
On the other side of the coin, spending big and adding too many new faces could just as easily wreck everything that has been built. But again, as things stand, the current Leicester side has a limited shelf life. What it really comes down to is how this season and its significant achievements are viewed within the club. Is this the pinnacle, or is it only the beginning?