Wednesday 17 October 2018

Puel backed to take Leicester forward

Claude Puel will take charge of Leicester against Everton this weekend
Claude Puel will take charge of Leicester against Everton this weekend

Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha believes Claude Puel is the "perfect fit" for the club, despite being sacked as Southampton manager just months earlier.

The 56-year-old is back in the Premier League after just 133 days, having succeeded Craig Shakespeare on a deal until June 2020.

Puel last season led Southampton to the EFL Cup final and eighth in the Premier League, but frustrations behind the scenes and in the stands led to his departure after just one season.

Saints great Matthew Le Tissier has warned Leicester about Puel's "pretty boring" football, but Srivaddhanaprabha has been impressed by the Frenchman.

"When we began the process of identifying a new manager, the board quickly established the profile of candidate we needed to take the club forward and Claude Puel was a perfect fit," the City vice-chairman said.

"Upon meeting Claude, his attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realise it were extremely impressive.

"He quickly emerged as the outstanding candidate and I am delighted we will have the opportunity to reinforce our long-term vision, aided significantly by his expertise."

Ex-Leicester striker Gary Lineker summed up many fans' feelings by posting "Claude Puel? Really?" - a tweet poking fun at himself as much as the appointment, having tweeted the same when Claudio Ranieri was appointed at the start of their title-winning season.

Such heights look all but impossible to scale for Puel, who will take charge for the first time when Everton arrive in the Premier League on Sunday.

"It's a great privilege to become the new manager of Leicester City - a club whose values and ambitions are closely aligned to my own," said the 56-year-old, who will retain Michael Appleton as assistant.

"The opportunity to help the club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one and I'm looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success."

Puel moved into management with Monaco - the only club he represented as a player - in 1999 and won the Ligue 1 crown the following year.

Spells with Lille, Lyon and Nice followed before the 56-year-old replaced Ronald Koeman as Saints boss in 2016.

Leicester are 14th in the Premier League standings and through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after beating Leeds 3-1 on Tuesday.

Press Association

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