Wes Morgan & Robert Huth

City’s 21st Century Centre-Backs

To mark the permanent signings of iconic centre-backs Steve Walsh and Robert Huth on this day nearly three decades apart, we take a look at a number of talents to operate in the same position for Leicester City during the 21st century.

From former players to current first team stars, seasoned internationals to Academy graduates, there have been many gifted central defenders to have donned a Foxes shirt over the past two decades.

Two of those – Walsh and Huth – signed for the Football Club on 24 June, and to celebrate their arrivals at different stages in City’s history, LCFC.com selects some of the most successful in its modern existence.

Steve Walsh

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Steve Walsh
Steve Walsh

Steve Walsh celebrates winning one of two League Cups with the Foxes.

After joining the Foxes in 1986, Steve Walsh went on to become a legend of the Football Club, appearing 449 times across a 14-year spell at Filbert Street.

Having built his profile as a passionate and adroit centre-back at Wigan Athletic, Bryan Hamilton signed Walsh for City for a fee of £100,000 having worked with him at the Latics.

He went on to play in six Wembley finals, won promotion to the Premier League twice, lifted the League Cup twice, qualified for the UEFA Cup twice, and was a key member of the side which achieved four successive top-10 Premier League finishes under Martin O’Neill.

Matt Elliott

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Matt Elliott
Matt Elliott

Matt Elliott's final double secured Leicester City their second League Cup in four years.

Often a centre-back partner of Walsh, Matt Elliott too cemented his status as an iconic member of City's squad at the turn of the century.

Manager Martin O’Neill signed Elliott from Oxford United for a Club-record fee in 1997, and the centre-back went on to play just under 300 games for the Foxes.

His brace of headers in the League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in a 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers was one of many highlights from his playing career at Filbert Street.

Gerry Taggart

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Gerry Taggart
Gerry Taggart

Gerry Taggart scored one of his 13 Foxes goals against Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Cup at Filbert Street.

Northern Ireland international Gerry Taggart too played alongside both Walsh and Elliott for City, and was regarded as one of the most fearsome defenders during that period in the Club’s history.

His six-year spell at City saw him play nearly 150 games, while he also lifted the League Cup as a Fox in 2000 after heartbreak in the final a year prior.

Although goals during his Leicester career were at a premium, he is one of only a small number of players to score for the Club in Europe after netting in the UEFA Cup against Red Star Belgrade.

Richard Stearman

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Richard Stearman
Richard Stearman

Academy graduate Richard Stearman celebrates a strike against Nottingham Forest.

Another centre-back to have made over 100 appearances for the Foxes was Academy graduate Richard Stearman, whose Foxes debut came in October 2004 aged just 17.

Having joined the Club’s Academy as a 10-year-old, Stearman departed in 2008 for Wolverhampton Wanderers and played a combined total of 383 games in defence for Leicester City and Wolves.

Despite suffering relegation during his final year at King Power Stadium, he left with the Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year awards.

Wes Morgan

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Wes Morgan
Wes Morgan

Wes Morgan became the first player in Leicester City history to lift the Premier League trophy.

Wes Morgan is undoubtedly one of the Football Club’s greatest-ever centre-backs, and in terms of major trophies, the most successful.

After announcing his retirement this summer, his final tally of appearances for City sits at 324 having lifted the Championship title, the Premier League and the FA Cup.

He captained the Foxes during a period of transformation to help establish themselves in England’s top flight during one of the most glorious eras in their 137-year history.

Marcin Wasilewski

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Marcin Wasilewski
Marcin Wasilewski

The Poland star made many close friends during his time at King Power Stadium.

Poland international centre-back Marcin Wasilewski became a firm fans’ favourite on Filbert Way for a series of stand-out and passionate performances.

Integral in City’s promotion to the Premier League in 2014, as well as the Great Escape the following season, the former Anderlecht man was an immensely popular figure during his four years at the Club.

He received an emotional send-off at King Power Stadium in 2017, where his team-mates and the Blue Army thanked him before he returned to his homeland to play for three seasons at Wisła Kraków.

Robert Huth

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Robert Huth
Robert Huth

Robert Huth celebrates an iconic brace in City's 3-1 win at Manchester City in 2016 en route to the Premier League title.

Much like Wasilewski, Robert Huth was renowned as a meteoric presence at the heart of the Leicester defence across his three-and-a-half years as a Fox.

Initially signing on loan from Stoke City, he helped Leicester retain their Premier League status in 2015 before lifting England’s top-flight title just 12 months later.

Providing moments of joy and humour, Huth is considered one of Leicester’s most successful centre-backs in recent years.

Harry Maguire

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Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire finds the net in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in 2018/19.

Harry Maguire arrived at King Power Stadium in the summer of 2017 from Hull City, and went on to make over 70 appearances for City across two seasons.

While his stay in Leicester was shorter than most, he was one of only a small number of players to play for England while at the Football Club.

He made his debut against Lithuania in 2017 before starring at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, scoring against Sweden in the quarter-finals. He later departed the Club for Manchester United in August 2019.

Jonny Evans

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Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

The Northern Ireland international lifts the FA Cup for the first time in his career.

Jonny Evans arrived on Filbert Way in 2018 from West Bromwich Albion with three Premier League titles, two League Cups and a UEFA Champions League winners’ medal.

One of the most decorated players to play for City, Evans added the FA Cup to his haul of trophies last term after a victory over Chelsea in the final at Wembley Stadium.

He has made over 100 appearances across all formats for Leicester to date, and in December 2020 signed a new deal with the Club that runs to the summer of 2023.

Çağlar Söyüncü

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Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü has a huge following in his home nation of Turkey.

Although Çağlar Söyüncü – another FA Cup winner with City last term – was limited to only a handful appearances during his first season as a Fox in 2018/19, he enjoyed a breakthrough campaign the following year.

Pace and strength are two of his strongest attributes, allowing him to excel at both club and international level as one of the most exciting young talents in the City squad.  

His first goal for the Club came in a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in November 2019, while he also scored the winner in a 2-1 success at Manchester United last term – City’s first win at Old Trafford since 1998.

Wesley Fofana

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Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana

The France youth international is pictured after winning the first major trophy of his career.

The newest addition to City’s central defensive options is France Under-21s international Wesley Fofana, who signed from Saint-Étienne in the summer of 2020.

Aged just 19 at the start of his debut campaign, Fofana delivered displays at centre-back well beyond his years, and amassed 38 appearances across all formats.

The first silverware of his career came in May 2021, when he played from start to finish in City’s FA Cup Final victory over Chelsea in the capital.

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