Saturday 24 March 2018

Alex Ferguson: With January reinforcements, Leicester City can win the title

Former Manchester United manager says Leicester should be looking to add players in January and push for the title rather than worrying about keeping hold of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez's treble fired Leicester to the top of the table
Riyad Mahrez's treble fired Leicester to the top of the table

Matt Law

Alex Ferguson has claimed Leicester City can win the Premier League if the club’s Thai owners are willing to spend in January.

Leicester have been the story of the season so far and are top of the table, following their comfortable victory over Swansea City.

In striker Jamie Vardy and winger Riyad Mahrez, Leicester also have two of the top three Premier League goalscorers.

But rather than simply worrying about keeping hold of Vardy and Mahrez, former Manchester United manager Ferguson believes Leicester should be looking to add players in January and push for the title.

“What is the manager Claudio Ranieri saying to the owners? Because if I were him I’d want an investment in January because this is a big opportunity,” said Ferguson.

 “They could win the league the way they are playing at the moment and they have goals in their team. That is not the owners’ problem. The problem for the owners is have they got the money? I think they have.

“Do they trust the coach? The problem will always lie with the coach because he has got to pick the team. Adding more players to it, he has only given himself a problem.

“At the moment, he can pick the same team because he has a limited squad and is doing very well. But if he wants to win the league, I think he should add to it. And I think there may be a great chance.

“For instance, back in ‘92-93 when we (United) won the League for the first time, Norwich led until the middle of March, the whole season. But we beat them at their own ground and won the league.

“So, for a small club historically like Leicester City, they have a challenge. How far can they go with this present squad, can they last the whole season?

“I was listening to Peter Schmeichel last week and what he was saying was fantastic, talking about how people are under-estimating Leicester City.

“This is a team with fantastic vitality, speed, energy. Peter was saying at the moment Leicester are the best team in the league, without a doubt. But, the question is, how long will it last? Have they the resources to continue throughout the season?”

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Vardy’s incredible form has attracted the interest of Chelsea and Manchester United, and Ferguson believes it will be a challenge for Leicester to hang on to their best players.

He also feels Vardy’s rise from non-League proves that club scouts need to start widening their search for players.

“When Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners’ Cup, it was the greatest moment for Aberdeen in their history and it was the worst moment too,” said Ferguson. “Because five players left within a year. Gordon Strachan went to Manchester United, Mark McGhee went to Hamburg.

“Leicester may have a situation where some players love being at Leicester City and don’t want to move and they will have some who do want to move to Manchester United, or they want to play for Liverpool or Real Madrid. It is natural, it is progress.”

On Vardy, Ferguson added: “My son Darren, when he was at Peterborough, almost signed him. Leicester City came in at the time.

“There was a great article in the Telegraph by Tim Sherwood about non-League football, about how people are under-estimating it. That is another example. Stuart Pearce and Cyrille Regis came from non-League football.

“This is something that maybe is being over-looked. Vardy is a great example of never giving in and keeping a great belief in himself. He has got certain assets that suit modern-day football - he is aggressive, he is quick, he has got energy and he’s got a goal in him.”

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