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Sunday, 13 August, 2000, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Taylor's new start
Peter Taylor (left) with chairman John Elsom
Peter Taylor (left) with chairman John Elsom
Leicester City 2000/2001 preview

Leicester City enter the new season with the backbone of Martin O'Neill's team - and an injection of Peter Taylor's new Filbert Street faces.

O'Neill's four years at Leicester finally ended when, after ignoring overtures from Everton and Leeds United in the past, he finally found the lure of Celtic too much.

It was the end of an era at Filbert Street, but Leicester wasted no time in replacing the man who had put them in the rarified world of Wembley appearances and Premiership security.

Leicester chairman John Elsom moved to appoint Peter Taylor, the man who was sacked with a near-faultless record as England under-21 coach - but more importantly the man who guided Gillingham into the First Division.

Taylor was faced with two tasks.

Muzzy Izzet - happy to stay at Leicester City
Muzzy Izzet - happy to stay at Leicester City
He had to retain men like Muzzy Izzet and Neil Lennon, who were tipped to follow O'Neill out of Leicester, and add to the squad with the 11m raked in from Liverpool for Emile Heskey.

If his success so far is any guide, he is on course to be a fiiting successor to O'Neill.

Izzet and Lennon have both signed lucrative four-year deals, while Elsom has backed Taylor's judgement in the transfer market without hesitation.

  Transfers in
Gary Rowett (Birmingham City, 3m)
Ade Akinbiyi (Wolves, 5m)
Callum Davidson (Blackburn Rovers 1.7m)
Trevor Benjamin (Cambridge United, 1.5m)
Simon Royce (Charlton Athletic, free)
Stan Collymore and Tony Cottee may have been the men in possession in attack after Heskey's departure - but the battle has now been joined.

Ade Akinbiyi is the showpiece signing as a 5m capture from Wolves, while Trevor Benjamin will be hoping to confirm the rich promise he showed at Cambridge United at Leicester.

Callum Davidson has arrived from Blackburn Rovers for 1.75m to fill the left back role, to give Taylor's Leicester a blend of old and new.

Taylor is also a man with a point to prove, but a reputation as a progressive thinker and a believer in passing football.

The midfield duo of Lennon and Izzet will form the engine room, while Taylor's many attacking options will be used to add the spearhead.

  Transfers out
Pegguy Arphexad (Liverpool, free)
Theo Zagorakis (AEK Athens, free)
John Hodges (Plymouth, free)
Fernandon Pasquinelli (Boca Juniors, free)
Ian Marshall (released)
Scotland defender Matt Elliott has also signed a new contract, ensuring continuity after O'Neill's departure.

The predicted exodus has not materialised, and Leicester fans can enter the new season with a genuine sense of optimism.

The new Taylor era has yet to be put to the test, but there has already been enough positive activity to suggest there may be life after Martin O'Neill.

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See also:

28 Jul 00 |  Leicester City
Taylor's new Butler
21 Jul 00 |  Leicester City
Izzet stays a Fox
13 Jul 00 |  Leicester City
Benjamin in "dream move"
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