Breaking Down Riyad Mahrez’s Rise to Leicester City’s Captain

Shinji Okazaki’s late goal sealed a dramatic 3-2 win for Leicester City against Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday night and lifted the Foxes to fifth place in the Premier League.

But a look through the club’s many centre forwards in recent years might tell us just how surprised manager Claude Puel was to hand the hot prospect at the edge of the penalty area the captain’s armband.

He said of the 20-year-old: “He’s an extraordinary talent.

“It is very important for young players like him to realise we have experienced managers, as well, and also maybe at the same level as the young players.”

Puel added: “He’s a young player but he is like a legend. For him, he is an inspiration. But after that he is now ready to help me as a senior player.”

“He’s fantastic to train with the other players. With him and Danny Drinkwater we can play with lots of players in the right positions.

“I’m not hiding anything that this is an ambition for young players because we have a lot of good young players coming into the squad. They’re very young, they have qualities and we need them to show what they can do.

“I am very excited to use them in the future, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez but also with Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani.

“My goal was to be a top four club but this is my first year and now we need a lot of confidence. We want to stay in the top four so we can win the Europa League.”

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