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Does Arsenal win justify stay for Claude Puel at Leicester?

Josh Kerr

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Claude Puel
Photo: Getty Images

Claude Puel helped Leicester secure their first win over Arsenal in 24-years on Wednesday night to round off their home campaign in spectacular fashion.

However, does the win do enough to justify why the Frenchman should stay at King Power for next season?

The Foxes ended a miserable run of five games without a win and six at the King Power Stadium by inflicting a first-ever defeat to the Gunners.

The victory, courtesy of goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, ensured Puel’s side now cannot finish lower than ninth.

After the win, Puel dedicated the final home game of the season to his Leicester supporters, despite many fans wanting a change of management in the East Midlands.

Puel took over from Leicester with the Foxes sitting third from the bottom – a position that had resulted in the sacking of Craig Shakespeare back in October.

Puel was a breath of fresh air for the former Premier League champions and got them quickly flying up the league table.

However, his poor form in recent weeks has also seen fans unhappy with his unimaginative style of play, and some have called for their fourth managerial change in just over a year.

The current Leicester boss found himself in an almost identical position last season when he was sacked by Southampton on the final day of the season, despite guiding the team to an impressive 8th place finish.

It comes as a cruel reminder to Puel that wins just aren’t enough in the modern game. Fans still want to see their team playing a positive brand of football that lifts them off their seats each weekend.

Puel’s obsession with results had clearly upset the Leicester dressing room, who looked jaded and unimpressed with the manager’s tactics in recent weeks, but Wednesday’s win may inspire the board to keep the 56-year-old in charge of the Foxes for next season.

Leicester can’t afford to keep going through managers and Puel’s style may not be the most imaginative, but the former Saints manager has dragged them up the table dramatically when they looked a serious contender for the drop just months ago.

The supporters need only look to Burnley for inspiration, with the Clarets recording a stunning seventh place finish that has secured them European football for next season.

Puel has an 8th and 9th place finish on his managerial CV, and supporters should be delighted with the progress made since his appointment back in October.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

Leicester City

Leicester City would be in dreamland with reported Ahmed Musa windfall

Ahmed Musa has struggled at Leicester City but thrived for his country.

Mathew Nash

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Nigeria fell agonisingly short of knocking Argentina out of the World Cup this summer and many of their players impressed fans with their displays. One player who caught the eye was well-known to fans of one Premier League club. Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa was brilliant for Nigeria in Russia.

Such form has now seen him linked with plenty of moves away from the King Power. The latest reports involved Saudi Arabian outfit Al Nassr. They are seemingly ready to pay a whopping £30 million for the player, as reported by Nigerian source Own Goal Nigeria.

That fee has now been skewed in other reports, with the Leicester Mercury reporting the fee at £40 million. That fee has also been suggested by Score Nigeria earlier this month whilst the Daily Trust also report the news with that fee attached.

(Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

So there is clearly some disparity between the reports.

But at £30 or £40 million this would be great business for Leicester.

Signed for just £16 million in the summer of 2016, the Nigerian managed just five goals in 33 games for the Foxes before being loaned back to CSKA last winter.

Leicester would, therefore, stand to make £24 million if the £40 million assessments are correct. If not, then £14 million would not be bad either.

He would also be sold to a nation where his form would be out of sight and out of mind. Leicester are unlikely to feel any repercussions personally if he is sent to Dubai. If he scores a litany of goals? Then people will just criticise the standard of football.

At £30 million it is a magnificent deal for Leicester. At £40 million, they are in dreamland.

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Leicester City

Three reasons James Maddison can become a star for Leicester City next season

The 21-year-old star is destined for big things next season.

Liam Thomas

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James Maddison
Photo: Getty Images

21-year-old James Maddison became Leicester City‘s third signing of the summer when he completed a £22 million move from Norwich City to the King Power Stadium.

After Riyad Mahrez completed his long-awaited move to Manchester City this week, it seems as though there is no better time than now for the talented English playmaker to come and make his mark on the Premier League.

The Foxes beat off stiff competition for the talented youngsters signature after a terrific season in the Championship that saw the attacking midfielder score 14 times and assist eight.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

But will he live up to the hype? Here are three reasons why James Maddison has everything it takes to become a star for Leicester City in the 2018/19 Premier League season.

Superstar stats

Maddison was the subject of interest from all over Europe last season when in January it was confirmed he held the title of creating the most chances out of any player in the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga (54). An impressive statistic for a 21-year-old and testament to the abundance of talent he has.

“James is a wonderful player who is one of the most exciting young talents in English football. He made a big contribution to Norwich City last season and I’m delighted that he has decided to make the step up to the Premier League with Leicester.”

Leicester boss, Claude Puel, speaking after Maddison completed his £22 million move.

Set piece specialist

One of Maddison’s greatest assets is his ability from dead ball situations, a skill which in the Premier League is a vital weapon for any team to have at their disposal. Expect the new Leicester number 10 to be taking over free kick duties now Riyad Mahrez has left the King Power Stadium and don’t be surprised if he bangs a few of them in next season.

Chance to fill the void Riyad Mahrez had left

Maddison has a real chance to step up and make a name for himself since Riyad Mahrez’ departure, which for a talented and ambitious youngster like himself could be the perfect remedy for something great. Maddison was voted Norwich’s Player of the Season last year which all but proves he can take a team by the scruff of the neck and make it his own; even at such a young age.

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Leicester City

Three Riyad Mahrez replacements Leicester should pursue after £60million sale

Mahrez’s move to Manchester City has left Leicester with money to spend but a big void to fill.

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Mahrez
Photo: Getty Images

After a lengthy transfer saga stretching back to January, Riyad Mahrez has finally sealed an exit from Leicester City and the Foxes now need a replacement.

Earning £60 million from Mahrez’s move to Manchester City, as per BBC Sport, Leicester have cash to spend in the market and will need to set their sights high if they are to find an adequate replacement for the Premier League winner.

Since signing for Leicester in 2014, the Algeria international scored 42 goals in 158 league appearances for the Foxes and played a key part in the club’s shock Premier League success in 2015-16, scoring 17 goals and contributing 11 assists on his way to being crowned PFA Player of the Year.

That certainly leaves Leicester with a huge void to fill but the £60m fee they earned from the 27-year-old’s departure gives them plenty to spend – and these three players could be ideal replacements.

(Photo by Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images)

Florian Thauvin – Marseille

After a disastrous stint at Newcastle United, Florian Thauvin has excelled back in France with Marseille and is now a World Cup finalist following Les Bleus semi-final victory over Belgium on Tuesday evening – which could be the ideal end to a spectacular season.

The 25-year-old scored 22 goals and provided 17 assists in 35 Ligue 1 appearances last season, per Whoscored, while in Europe he found the net three times and contributed a further two assists in the club’s run to the Europa League final.

Thauvin’s impressive form has attracted plenty of attention, with Italian outlet StadioSport stating Arsenal are keen, but first-team football would be more regular with the Foxes and he could become a star for Claude Peul’s side.

Ryan Sessegnon – Fulham

One of the finest youth prospects within English football, Ryan Sessegnon caught the eye in Fulham’s promotion winning campaign last term after the versatile left-sided player pushed into a more attacking role for the Cottagers.

The 18-year-old’s tally of 16 goals and eight assists in the Championship brought back memories of Gareth Bale’s meteoric rise across London with Tottenham earlier in the decade, leading to widespread interest in the teenager’s services.

Arsenal, Manchester United and even Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with a move, although The Times has stated he will sign a new deal with Fulham. The Cottagers, understandably, want to keep the starlet for their return to the Premier League but the £60m Leicester received for Mahrez could allow the Foxes to make a move.

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Denis Cheryshev – Villarreal

After years floating around Spanish football, spending time with Real Madrid and Valencia before sealing a permanent move to Villarreal in 2016, Denis Cheryshev finally showed his full potential at the World Cup with host nation Russia.

The 27-year-old netted four goals during Russia’s improbable run to the quarter-finals of the tournament, including a brace in the opening match against Saudi Arabia, double the amount he scored in LaLiga last season, according to Whoscored statistics.

Cheryshev now has to prove that his form in the World Cup was not just a purple patch and Villarreal may be tempted into a sale if Leicester propose a bid. While he may not be a long-term star for the Foxes, his arrival could allow Demarai Gray to continue his development before taking the reigns in the coming years.

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