Riyad Mahrez deserves warm reception on Leicester return, says Claude Puel
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Last Updated: 18/12/18 11:03am
Claude Puel says Riyad Mahrez deserves respect as the winger prepares for his Leicester return with Manchester City.
The Algeria international is likely to feature for the first time against his former club at the King Power Stadium in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Tuesday.
Despite handing in two transfer requests before eventually joining City for £60m in the summer, Puel feels Mahrez, who played a key role in the club's 2016 Premier League glory, should receive a positive reception.
"Riyad deserves respect because he gave his best for the club. The club and his team-mates gave a lot for him too," Puel said of Mahrez, who scored 42 goals from 179 games for the Foxes.
"I hope he can come back and remain on the bench and can keep a good feeling with all the people.
"He changed the game and he was incredible. He was an important part of the success with the title.
"We cannot forget all he gave for the club and to his team-mates. I hope he can have a good welcome."
Puel admits managing Mahrez's desire to leave was tough, but feels the 27-year-old handled himself well after returning from his self-imposed absence in February.
"It was difficult to manage with the fans, with the club, with his team-mates. But it was important to manage him without him losing his concentration," Puel said.
"He had until the end of the season when he came back after his absence. He gave his best when he came back with the team and scored important goals.
"He made the difference and he left the club in a positive situation. It was a pleasure to talk with him and share different feelings of football."