February 7, 2018 / 6:54 AM / 19 days ago

Soccer: Diabate impact impresses Leicester manager Puel

(Reuters) - Leicester City forward Fousseni Diabate has the right attributes to handle the rigours of the Premier League and has made a good early impression, manager Claude Puel said.

Diabate, 22, who can operate as a forward or on the wings, scored a brace on his debut in Leicester’s 5-1 FA Cup victory at third-tier Peterborough United last month.

The versatile Malian took up Riyad Mahrez’s position on the right side of midfield in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Swansea City, with the Algerian midfielder left out for missing training and trying to force a move away from the club.

“I think he has a lot qualities and good attributes for the Premier League,” Puel said. “It was his second game for us and he showed a lot of quality.”

Diabete moved to Leicester in the January transfer window from French Ligue 2 side Gazelec Ajaccio on a four-and-a-half-year deal. He played 20 times in all competitions for the French second division club.

“He combined well with his team mates. He played simple passes and two touches, and made good penetration,” Puel added.

“It was a good first half and he showed some strong work defensively, and brought something to our attack.”

Leicester are eighth in the table with 35 points and travel to league leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru

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