Football

Leicester find 'perfect fit' in former Saints manager Puel

Former Premier League champions Leicester City named ex-Southampton boss Claude Puel as their new manager yesterday morning (Singapore time), following last week's sacking of Craig Shakespeare.

Leicester won the title under Claudio Ranieri in the 2015/16 season, but parted company with the Italian in February.

Despite a good recovery under Shakespeare at the end of last season, they have struggled this term.

Puel, 56, also a former manager of Monaco, Lyon and Nice in France, will take charge of his first game on Monday morning, when the Foxes host Everton at the King Power Stadium.

Said Leicester's vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha: "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.

"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."

The Frenchman, who was dismissed by Southampton in June despite leading them to an eighth-placed finish last season, said it was a "great privilege" to become the new Foxes manager.

"The opportunity to help the club build on their 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," he said.

Puel also has European pedigree, steering Lyon into the Champions League semi-finals in 2010 - masterminding a 2-1 aggregate win over Real Madrid along the way.

Leicester shocked the football world two seasons ago by winning the EPL title against all odds, with the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez stealing the headlines.

Despite reaching last season's Champions League quarter-finals, Leicester struggled in the league until a late flourish lifted them to 12th in the table.

This term, they have had only two wins in their first nine fixtures, although they eased the pressure last Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Swansea City, which lifted them to 14th in the table.- AFP

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