Interesting article about Ritchie de Laet in which he talks about his time at Leicester. Unfortunately it's behind a paywall so I signed up for a free trial and will just put some salient bits here for commentary rather than copying and pasting the whole thing. There is a lot more to the article than I'm putting here so I recommend at least doing the free trial to read the whole lot (I'm not on commission for new sign-ups I promise )
On the season we won the Championship:
"The second season was the most memorable season of my career. We felt we could win every game. The group was amazing. We did so many things outside of football. We were tight. There was a real friendship about us."
“Marcin was the go-to guy for us,” says De Laet. “We had a night out in Leicester after we won promotion. We went to Andy King’s house first and decided to go into town with our wives and girlfriends. My wife was lining up for a drink and this guy bumped her out of the way. I didn’t see it but someone told me. I looked over but ‘Was’ had already seen it and was looking at me. He walked over and just said, ‘I’ve got this.’ He grabbed the guy and security came over and threw the guy out.”
“In the first six months I think some of the guys thought he wasn’t ready, he wasn’t what we needed,” De Laet says. “Maybe we should see how he does on loan. But the second season he came back and he was a different man, a different player.
“I don’t know what he did over that summer. He just came back with a hunger and proved everyone wrong. He still is proving everyone wrong. He hasn’t scored in so many games [this season] but he is still top scorer! That says it all.
“He is loud. You know he is in the building from the moment he walks in. You know he has arrived. I would be on the physio bed having a massage and the corridor is quite long at Leicester’s training ground, but I could still hear him shouting as he arrived.
“In the dressing room, he would just start yelling for no apparent reason. We would all be doing our own thing and he would just start shouting, getting everyone’s attention. It would put us in a good mood.
“We had our battles in training. We are both quick so we would have one-v-ones. It would end with his studs on my leg and my studs on the back of his head. He would try to take me on but couldn’t outrun me, it wouldn’t work, and vice versa. It was great fun, on and off the field.”
“It was strange for me during that 2014-15 season,” he explains. “We did OK for the first few games. We played quite well. We played Arsenal at home, 1-1, [in the August] and I got man of the match but Nigel decided not to play me anymore.
“I got into a few fights with him. He called me some things, I called him a few things, but then a week later he would call me into the office and we would shake hands. Then he started to play me again. Perhaps that is what I needed to do — show him I was ready again and I still had that fire.”
“We had a lot of game plans, and a lot of people thought it was Claudio’s game plans that got us out of trouble, but it wasn’t really,” he says. “It was his game plan but at half-time when we were 1-0 down we would look at each other and say, ‘Let’s do our own thing. Let’s go out and enjoy it.’"
“With Kante, it was almost as if we were cheating at times, he was like two players. I remember some of the early training sessions and it just wouldn’t work for him. I don’t know when it clicked or what happened. Once he started in that No 6 role, he was unreal."
"...he was like Lionel Messi in that you knew he would go onto his left foot, but you couldn’t do anything about it.
“For the [little] English he could speak he always tried to be funny and join in the banter. He tried to come into the group and make jokes and laugh around. I think his confidence was growing because he was accepted into the group and doing important things for us on the pitch. Once his confidence is up, he is some player.”