Puel entrusted with realising Leicester's vision

Former Southampton manager Claude Puel will be introduced to the media today and will take charge of Sunday's home Premier League match against Everton.
Former Southampton manager Claude Puel will be introduced to the media today and will take charge of Sunday's home Premier League match against Everton.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Leicester hailed former Southampton manager Claude Puel as "a perfect fit" after appointing the Frenchman as manager on a three-year deal.

He will be introduced to the media today and will take charge of Sunday's home Premier League match against Everton.

Following last week's dismissal of Craig Shakespeare, Leicester interviewed several candidates for the position that has been held on a temporary basis for the past two matches by Michael Appleton, who will revert to his assistant's role.

Puel, without a club since he was let go by Southampton in June, impressed over multiple meetings.

"The board quickly established the profile of candidate we needed to take the club forward and Claude was a perfect fit," the club's vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said.

"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."

But the appointment has failed to impress Leicester fans, according to the British media.

The 56-year-old led the Saints to eighth in his first season in charge, and took them to the League Cup final. However, the Frenchman has been accused of negative tactics and failing to motivate his players at Southampton, whose total of 41 goals was the joint-lowest outside the bottom five in the Premier League last season, reported The Times of London.

Still, Puel has a French title among his managerial achievements, having won Ligue 1 in 2000 with Monaco, the club at which he spent his entire playing career.

He is perhaps known more as a builder of medium-sized clubs and a cultivator of young talent thanks to his six-year spell in charge of Lille, who regularly qualified for Europe by finishing above clubs with more resources.

He was voted the manager of the year in France in 2005 for leading Lille to a second-place finish in Ligue 1 behind Lyon.

Puel, who has been promised £30 million (S$53.9 million) to spend in the January transfer window, said: "It's a great privilege to become the new manager of Leicester - a club whose values and ambitions are closely aligned to mine."

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'Puel entrusted with realising Leicester's vision'. Print Edition | Subscribe