Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 July 2018

Simpson praise for Mahrez as wantaway winger shines amid transfer speculation

Leicester's Jamie Vardy limps off towards the end of their 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.
Leicester's Jamie Vardy limps off towards the end of their 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.

Leicester defender Danny Simpson insists Riyad Mahrez is an example to fellow professionals over how to handle transfer speculation.

Algeria international Mahrez brushed off on-going talk over his future to inspire the Foxes to a 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.

He set up goals for Shinji Okazaki and Harry Maguire in one of his best performances of 2017.

Roma have had three bids rejected, the third being £32million, for the 26-year-old who has already expressed a desire to leave the King Power Stadium.

Simpson and the squad want him to stay but believes Mahrez deserves credit for conducting himself in the right way.

"Yeah, some people don't and he's still a Leicester player. You still want him to perform and show why the lads want him here and he has been a top player in the last few years," said the right-back.

"There's a few weeks to go and hopefully he stays with us and does that for the rest of the season.

"I'm pretty sure everyone will say the same, you want your best players at the club. He's a top player and enjoyed his Champions League football and if he stays we'll be very happy.

"I love playing with him on the right and if he's performing like that it'll be very good for us.

"We know what he can do. As soon as the whistle went you knew he was up for it. When he's like that he's unstoppable.

"He was unlucky in the second half, he had a little Maradona moment, and got his assists. The goals will come for him."

Boss Craig Shakespeare has already praised Mahrez's professionalism but said players should be able to handle the speculation.

"It's a credit to him and his personality. Of course, when there's all the speculation, it's hard for players to get their heads round it," he said.

"For me, it should be quite easy. You perform and if you are asked to represent the football club that you are paid by, then you do that."

Brighton have lost their opening two games after promotion to the Premier League and boss Chris Hughton still wants new signings.

He added: "We wanted to bring in players and nothing from the game increases that desire. That remains and we have until the end of the month to do that."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport