Former Newcastle centre-forward and all round good guy Mick Quinn, has claimed that Newcastle United have more ability and talent than league leaders Leicester City…

I’m not sure whether he’d taken on ‘refreshments’ before making that point but to be fair, it isn’t a million miles away from what many Newcastle fans clearly think.

The belief amongst numerous Newcastle supporters is that this current United team is simply underperforming and that if they put their minds, and bodies, to it then they would be in the upper reaches of the Premier League.

Maybe not higher than table toppers Leicester City but not a million miles away.

This is what Mick Quinn said to the Chronicle:

“In terms of pure talent and ability, there’s more in that Newcastle team than there is in the current Leicester City squad.

“I genuinely believe that…but the difference is the Foxes have all the fundamentals.

“Newcastle United don’t do them: pressing, desire and teamwork are far too regularly missing from the Newcastle side.”

Certainly purely in terms of transfer fees paid, the current Newcastle team SHOULD be better than Leicester City but if that was simply how things were decided, then they could just hand Manchester City the title each August and we wouldn’t need to go through this 10 month charade any longer.

Here are the Leicester City first eleven and their Newcastle United counterparts below:

Kasper Schmeichel (Rob Elliot)

Danny Simpson (Daryl Janmaat)

Wes Morgan (Fabricio Coloccini)

Robert Huth (Chancel Mbemba)

Christian Fuchs (Paul Dummett)

Marc Albrighton (Ayoze Perez/Andros Townsend)

Danny Drinkwater (Jack Colback)

Ngolo Kante (Vurnon Anita/Jonjo Shelvey)

Riyad Mahrez (Moussa Sissoko)

Shinji Okazaki (Gini Wijnaldum)

Jamie Vardy (Aleksandar Mitrovic)

Going through those pairings I would say the following are obviously in Leicester’s favour:

Kasper Schmeichel (Rob Elliot)

Rob Elliot has done well and probably played at his maximum but Schmeichel is clearly the younger and better keeper.

Wes Morgan (Fabricio Coloccini)

Morgan is all heart…whilst Coloccini getting a five yard head start from Diego Costa and losing easily in a dash for the ball on Saturday, leaves you wondering just how bad he has to get before he is dropped.

Christian Fuchs (Paul Dummett)

Geordie lad and all that but Newcastle still don’t have a Premier League left-back and continue to suffer because of that.

Danny Drinkwater (Jack Colback)

Another Geordie who tries his best but slow and very limited in his range of ability, Drinkwater is more mobile and skilful – no contest.

Ngolo Kante (Vurnon Anita/Jonjo Shelvey)

Newcastle were linked with Kante but he was snapped up by the Foxes and has been the midfield talent of the season in the Premier League. Obviously streets ahead of Anita and I would say currently showing a level above new signing Shelvey. In the longer term obviously we hope Shelvey will prove as valuable to Newcastle.

Riyad Mahrez (Moussa Sissoko)

Don’t really think I have to add anything here…

Jamie Vardy (Aleksandar Mitrovic)

Same here to be honest. Mitrovic is obviously (hopefully!) a better player than he has shown so far at Newcastle and will definitely improve but no way is he as natural a goalscorer as Vardy.

As for the more contentious ones…:

Danny Simpson (Daryl Janmaat)

Fair to say not many/any Newcastle fans would swap Janmaat for Simpson BUT when it comes to defending, it is hardly the Dutchman’s biggest strength. One of Leicester’s big strengths is possibly the balance of the team, the right players in the right place to do a specific job – Simpson is an out and out trier and defender and seems to be doing a similar job to when he and Newcastle finished fifth.

Hand on heart, maybe Janmaat is a luxury Newcastle struggle to afford. Very good going forward but with the defence such a total mess and his team-mates giving inadequate cover.

Robert Huth (Chancel Mbemba)

Once again, Newcastle supporters would tend to favour Mbemba, especially long-term and in terms of innate skill, but Huth does a job there that currently Newcastle don’t have anybody to do. The time served German heading everything away that comes into the box.

Shinji Okazaki (Gini Wijnaldum)

Possibly the easiest decision for many Newcastle fans. However, with the Dutchman electing not to contribute in away games, the every minute of every game attitude of Okazaki does leave you wondering how much more certain United players should be giving us.

Marc Albrighton (Ayoze Perez/Andros Townsend)

A bit like the Wijnaldum/Okazaki duel, Albrighton is a bargain who has massively complemented the more obvious skills of Mahrez, Kante and Vardy. Both Newcastle players have more ability and hopefully they will match Albrighton’s attitude for Newcastle long-term.

In conclusion, Leicester as a team are more than their individual parts, whilst Newcastle are undoubtedly the opposite.

However, I can’t agree with Mick Quinn that there is more talent/ability in the Newcastle team than the league leaders.

In Kante, Vardy and Mahrez they have uncovered three gems who could play for any Premier League team at the minute, Newcastle sadly have none – whether based on pure talent and/or desire.

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