By 90Min
July 24, 2018

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has quietly set about proving his doubters wrong so far this summer, with several things that have slipped under the radar.

While we can all agree that Leicester won't win the Premier League again (or will they?!), the Foxes may surprise a few people next season.

Puel has made lots of changes this summer, some large and some very subtle, which could give his side a greater advantage on the pitch as they look to taste European football once more.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Leicester have made some very smart and astute signings this summer, which may have slipped under the radar due to the hysteria around the World Cup and the transfer activity of Europe's biggest clubs.

The Foxes opened their summer business with the signing of Porto right back Ricardo Pereira, who has plenty of experience with the Portugal national team. He was Porto's first choice right back until his move to Leicester, and is a fantastic addition to strengthen Leicester's ageing defence.

Defensively, the Foxes have strengthened even further - with the signing of West Brom and Northern Ireland captain, Jonny Evans. The former Manchester United defender brings some much needed experience to the side following the departure of Robert Huth.

Then came the chance to strengthen their attacking ranks, and Leicester quickly finalised one of the most underrated signings that any Premier League club has made this summer. England Under-21 international James Maddison was on sensation form for Championship club Norwich City last season, scoring 15 goals in 46 games from midfield.

Most recently, Leicester have signed goalkeeper Danny Ward in a £12m deal from Liverpool. Following the departure of Ben Hamer earlier this summer, this is a huge upgrade (sorry, Ben) to the club's goalkeeping department.

Puel has also notably improved his English. In recent interviews over the course of pre-season, it's clear to see that Puel has been working hard to improve his spoken English over the summer. He speaks with much more confidence and clarity, stumbling less over his words and taking far less time to process what he wants to say.

It shows the dedication and determination that Puel has to succeed at Leicester, using his initiative to take time out of his summer to improve his ability to communicate with his players, staff, local media and, most importantly, the Leicester fans.

David Rogers/GettyImages

With improved communication in the dressing room and on the pitch, we could start to see more of Puel's ideas being executed to perfection by the players. 

(Side note: Having attended one of Claude Puel's press conferences last season, it was clear to see how communication could have been a big problem in the dressing room. He spoke very soft, broken English and needed the help of a translator. Journalists gathered afterwards to try and discuss what he had actually said in answer to a particular question).

Leicester recently beat League Two side Notts County 4-1 in a pre-season friendly on Sunday. Despite playing against a team three divisions below them, the Foxes put in a very impressive performance.

Leicester played a high press, which they executed fantastically, and, in the process, demonstrated that Puel does not have a 'boring, one dimensional' philosophy - for which he has been heavily criticised by both Southampton and Leicester fans.

LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

The system that Claude Puel seems to be trying does not really work without a true playmaker in the middle, something that Leicester have lacked in recent years - deploying Shinji Okazaki and Kelechi Iheanacho just behind Jamie Vardy. However, with the addition of James Maddison, everything could now click into place at King Power Stadium.

It'll be an exciting season for Leicester fans, if the club's summer (so far) is anything to go by.

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