Without the offer of European football, a move to the King Power suddenly becomes a significantly less attractive prospect, especially with the likes of Wolves and West Ham on the up. Failure to lift the Conference League could see Rodgers dismissed, but also pose significant challenges for the board as they try to recruit and keep new and existing talent at the club.
Leicester has been riddled with injuries this season, with the likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Wesley Fofana, and Ricardo Pereira missing significant chunks of the campaign, so whilst an initial rebuild might be considered, really only a few squad upgrades and reinforcements are necessary. In signing Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare last summer, the Foxes look to have secured two real talents, with the former in line to replace club legend Jamie Vardy as the Englishman slows down.
The real key for Leicester is replacing Youri Tielemans, as the Belgian has refused to sign a new deal and will have one year remaining on his current contract in the summer, meaning if Leicester wishes to recoup any of the £40 million fee paid in 2019 they will need to sell.
Tielemans has become pivotal to the side, contributing both goals and assists, and excelling in transitioning the ball up the park. With no offer of European football, Leicester would almost certainly lose their man in the summer and may struggle to attract an ideal replacement to the King Power.
Although not as pressing an issue, this same problem could occur for the likes of James Maddison, Wesley Fofana, and Patson Daka, who would all likely have numerous suitors should Leicester fail to build on their recent successes. This could spark a bigger issue at the club, as if they fail to hold onto and recruit talent like they have done astutely over recent years, they are in danger of falling behind the likes of West Ham, Wolves, and even Aston Villa as challengers to the traditional top six.
All in all, there is no shame if Rodgers and co can’t lift the Conference League, as even though it’s considered somewhat of a laughing stock amongst football, it still features well-respected European sides. For the bigger picture, the Foxes next few seasons and overall trajectory may hang in the balance of a Conference League victory, and one thing is for sure, if Rodgers really hadn’t heard of the Conference League before Christmas, we’re pretty sure he has now.