There was a lot to be learned from last summer’s transfer saga which eventually saw Harry Maguire go from Leicester to Manchester United for £80million.
Firstly, the Foxes strike a hard bargain. They know the worth of their players and they’re not letting them go for anything less.
Leicester have another star up their sleeve
Secondly, Leicester don’t sell their most valuable stars unless they are ready to lose them.
Take the Maguire sale, for instance. The Foxes didn’t even bother signing a replacement centre-back, because they had Caglar Soyuncu waiting in the wings.
And with rumours continuing to swirl regarding Chelsea’s aggressive pursuit of left-back Ben Chilwell, it seems Leicester might be preparing themselves for another big-money exit.
talkSPORT understands the Foxes won’t let the 23-year-old England international go for any less than £60million, but they won’t need those funds to sign a suitable replacement.
Chilwell has established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League in recent seasons
Luke Thomas, the 19-year-old England youth international who made his debut against Sheffield United last week, looks ready to step into Chilwell’s shoes should he leave.
Even though Chilwell is currently injured, throwing Thomas in for Leicester’s biggest game of the season was a huge call from Brendan Rodgers, and not something the Foxes boss would’ve done without total trust in the teenager.
And Thomas repaid that faith in style. Indeed, it was his superb pass to Ayoze Perez which created the opening goal in Leciester’s crucial 2-0 victory.
Thomas did not look like a kid making his senior debut
Moreover, the Leicester Mercury described his performance as ‘frankly incredible’, given the size of the occasion and the fact it was his senior debut.
His composure and bravery on the ball was quite remarkable, given Thomas had only ever played at youth level before last night.
He has only played for Leicester’s Under-23s six times, although he does have eight appearances for England at youth level across their Under-18s and Under-19s.
It appears Leicester have another gem – and one which could mean that £60m becomes more useful to them than having Chilwell at the club.
Thomas helped create the opener last night
In other words, Thomas could well be the reason why Leicester eventually decide to sell Chilwell to Chelsea.
Indeed, Rodgers has told talkSPORT he expects the young left-back to get plenty more opportunities.
He said on Friday: “I was thrilled for him last night, I said before the game that it’s exciting for me as a coach.
“My job is to develop players, whether they’re younger players or older players.
“It’s so great when you know you have a talent – and then they go in and do what you hoped.
Glen Johnson backs Chelsea’s move for Ben Chilwell
“It will be the start of a fantastic career for him. There’s still so much work to do, though.
“It was a huge challenge for him last night, playing against a really good team, they have really good quality and physicality.
“To cope with that was a really great start. But there will be bumps along the way for him, that’s for sure.
“He’s very level-headed, he has a good perspective on where he’s at, and he’s got real quality.
Rodgers clearly rates the teenager
“There will be many more opportunities for him because he’s a fantastic talent.”
However, the Foxes boss refused to give any indication that Chilwell will go.
He added: “There’s no intention to sell Ben Chilwell, and there’s absolutely no reason for us to sell Ben Chilwell.
“So the message is that he’s not for sale, it’s as simple as that.”