Claudio Ranieri Praises Leicester City’s Algerian Players

Claudio Ranieri Praises Leicester City’s Algerian Players

Leicester City’s Italian coach Claudio Ranieri has heaped praise on his two Algerian players, winger Riyad Mahrez and striker Islam Slimani.

The two Algerian internationals have contributed to Leicester City’s return of form this week after a difficult start to the season.

They had to wait until matchday three for their first win of the season, when they secured three points against Swansea City in a 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes won the English Premier League last season, and as such they qualified for the UEFA Champions League, making their debut in the competition last week in a stunning 3-0 victory over Club Brugge in Belgium, with Mahrez scoring two goals to secure the win.

City then played Burnley in Premier League action over the weekend, emerging with another 3-0 victory on Saturday. Slimani played an important part in that victory, having signed for a club record $38.7 million fee from Sporting Lisbon at the end of the transfer season.

Slimani scored the first two goals for his new club on his Premier League debut, while Mahrez had a hand in the third when he forced an own goal from Burnley defender Ben Mee.

Algerian players keeping Ranieri happy

Ranieri is pleased to see his North African stars shining brightly at this stage of the season, and had praise for them when faced with the media.

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“It’s good for Slimani and good for everyone. It was a very good performance from him, as well as his teammates,” Ranieri said of Slimani at the post-match press conference, according to AfricanFootball.

“He linked very well with [Jamie] Vardy and the others and he pressed so hard during all the match. We bought him for these characteristics,” he added.

Turning his attention to Mahrez, the Italian was equally full of praise.

“Riyad made two fantastic performances, in Bruges and here, and I’m very pleased when he plays in this tactical way because he was very clever, when to attack, defend and play in between the lines,” he said.

“Of course he’s happy with Slimani here – he’s happy with everybody,” the coach added.

Slimani enjoyed a fantastic season in the Portuguese top flight during 2015-16, scoring at will and providing his side with a reliable target-man with proven pedigree. The talented attacker scored 27 goals the Portuguese Primeira Liga campaign, prompting Ranieri to bring him to Leicester for a record fee.