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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is adamant that they’re no player hierarchy at the club and that all positions are up for grabs.
With the reigning Premier League champions off to a rocky start, picking up one loss, one draw, and one win to start the season, Ranieri is saying that no player in the squad has a guaranteed spot in the starting XI. Leicester has a heavy schedule in the next few weeks, playing six games in 17 days.
“Everybody renewed their contract, they know very well they can play or can’t play – that is football at the highest level,” Ranieri said. “Of course there is not a hierarchy – it’s not [a case that] somebody who played last season is assured to play this season. I watch every training session, I watch every match, and if someone I see is better, then I change. Nobody is sure of their shirt to play at the beginning.”
Asked if that pertained to players like England internationals Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater, Ranieri said: “Everybody – they have to stay at the highest level, and when I see them down, I have a player to replace them. That is important,” Ranieri said.
“If at the end of December we continue in the Champions League, or go on in the [EFL] Cup and there is somebody not happy, I can believe it and I can help him. But as long as we’re together, we have to be happy.
“It is not the first XI who won the title last season; all the players won the title, all the players are champions of the Premier League. I don’t remember who played 38 games or one. For me it was a group who won the title.”
Leicester takes on Liverpool on Saturday at Anfield.