When Kasper Schmeichel pictured his Leicester City exit, leaving four days before the start of a season while the club is yet to make a single summer signing is surely not the departure he had in mind. 45 minutes of a dull pre-season friendly cannot have been the farewell he wished for, nor was waving goodbye to a King Power Stadium which was nowhere near full capacity.
Alas, the time has come for the Danish stopper to move on, and after 11 years, it’s an emotional ordeal for himself, his family, the club and its supporters. Acting with dignity as ever, upon the confirmation of his transfer to OGC Nice, Schmeichel made sure the Leicester City fan base were addressed through social media and video messages. In a video uploaded to his Instagram page, Schmeichel said to Foxes followers:
“I needed a home, and you embraced me. You took me into your hearts and I’m just so proud to have played for Leicester, captained Leicester and to have been a part of the great history of this great club.”
Not stopping with just a video message, the former Leicester captain took to Twitter, posting a thirteen-tweet thread, showcasing his favourite memories since joining the club in 2011. Within it, Schmeichel highlighted the club’s major successes, the trip to Thailand with the Premier League trophy, and the way the club came together to mourn the loss of late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Signing off the thread in his final direct address to the King Power faithful, Schmeichel wrote:
“11 seasons… made so special by the people behind the scenes, those on the pitch alongside me and by the fans.
“Your support has been amazing and I’m very grateful to every single one of you.
“Thank you and I will see you all soon.”
On arrival at his new club, where a three-year contract has been signed, Schmeichel was greeted by 2,000 Nice supporters as he was officially unveiled with fellow new signings Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Beka-Beka. It was a hero’s welcome for the former Foxes man, who was quickly surrounded by supporters attempting to get selfies and fist bumps.
Speaking to the official club website after the triple-unveiling, Nice’s new stopper expressed his delight at his transfer being completed:
“I am very, very happy.
“It’s incredible to meet everyone, it’s great to see all these fans who have come out to see us.”
The Dane is expected to slot straight into the No. 1 spot as Nice travel to newly-promoted Toulouse in their Ligue 1 season opener on Sunday. With little time to source a replacement for Schmeichel, Brendan Rodgers has seemingly decided between Danny Ward and Daniel Iversen for the goalkeeping berth in Leicester’s first Premier League outing at home to Brentford.