sport

Hammond welcomes competition

Dean Hammond has welcomed the competition for a places at Leciester City ahead of their Premier League return.

Foxes boss Nigel Pearson has boosted his options this summer, with Marc Albrighton, Matthew Upson, Ben Hamer and Leonardo Ulloa all arriving, while young duo Jack Barmby and Louis Rowley have joined the development squad from Manchester United.

Pearson's side kick-off the new campaign with a home tie to Everton - their first top-flight outing in 10 years - and he will have the vast majority of his Championship-winning side to choose from, as well as the new additions.

Ulloa's arrival from Brighton for a club record fee reported to be in the region of 8million presents Pearson with a particular headache in attack as he picks from the likes of David Nugent, Jamie Vardy and Chris Wood, but Hammond says that is a good thing.

"You need competition for places - you need it within the whole group," he told the Leicester Mercury.

"I expect there will be more players coming in and there is competition every day in training. But that improves you as a player."

Leicester are among the clubs linked with a move for Watford striker Troy Deeney, although Hammond believes that they are well-equipped in front of goal regardless of any further incomings.

"We are very strong in that position now. Leo has come in and he is a very good player but Nuge and Vards last season were fantastic and they have continued that during pre-season," he said.

"But you want that, you want that within that group. They can all score goals, they have all got different attributes. It will be difficult to make a decision."

Assistant manager Craigh Shakespeare also echoed Hammond's thoughts and thinks the wealth of options available to Pearson will bring the best out of the squad.

"I think all footballers appreciate competition. I think sometimes when there is not competition, they can be a bit too relaxed," said Shakespeare.

"We need that competition and we will need to pick and choose teams."