Leicester City has officially named former Southampton manager Claude Puel their new manager. Interim manager Michael Appleton led the Foxes to two victories through two weeks in charge, but the club was intent on bringing in someone with more top-flight experience in their plight to remain in the Premier League.
Leicester City appoint Claude Puel
Puel has been out of a job since his surprise sacking by Southampton following their eighth-place finish last season. The Frenchman received a lot of criticism for his side’s inability to score goals, finding the net just 41 times in 38 matches. Southampton spent the majority of the term without a first choice striker due to the injury to Jay Rodriguez. Additionally, Puel may not be to blame for the offensive woes; Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have managed just eight goals in nine Premier League matches this year.
Conversely, Puel’s Southampton was very effective on the defensive side of the ball. They conceded just 48 times last season, which saw Virgil Van Dijk’s value skyrocket to over £60 million this summer. Puel’s defensive know-how will certainly be welcome at the King Power Stadium, as the Foxes have only been able to keep three clean sheets this season. This emphasis on defending will most likely provide Harry Maguire and Wilfried Ndidi with more responsibility but should free Riyad Mahrez from tracking back as much in order to initiate attacks.
Leicester’s next two Premier League matches will provide big tests for Puel. Everton travels to the King Power looking to turn their season after dismissing another ex-Southampton boss, Ronald Koeman. After that, the Foxes face a trip to Stoke City. Six points from those games will create distance between Leicester and the relegation zone, validating the Frenchman’s appointment.
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