Claude Puel is back in the game.
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Leicester City appointed the former Southampton manager on Wednesday, with the Foxes giving the Frenchman a second chance to shine in the Premier League.
It’s safe to say his appointment hasn’t been met with widespread euphoria from Leicester’s fans but the last time they felt underwhelmed by a managerial appointment (ahem, Claudio Ranieri) it worked out pretty well for them…
Puel — who has signed a contract until 2020 — replaces Craig Shakespeare who was fired last week after just eight games in charge of the Foxes on a permanent basis, with assistant coach Michael Appleton stepping in as caretaker but Appleton will now become Puel’s assistant.
Speaking about his appointment, Puel was delighted to take charge of the 2015-16 Premier League champions.
“It’s a great privilege to become the new manager of Leicester City – a club whose values and ambitions are closely aligned to my own. The opportunity to help the Club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one and I’m looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success.”
Leicester City’s vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha described Puel as a “perfect fit” for the club and lauded his “attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realize it.”
In his only previous campaign in English soccer, last season Puel, 56, led Saints to an eighth place finish in the Premier League and the League Cup final, plus within one goal of reaching the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds.
However, the former Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice manager was fired at the end of last season following a run of five home games without scoring as Southampton’s fans lambasted the team for a bland style of play and a lack of goals.
In his homeland Puel won the French title with Monaco, plus led Lille and Lyon in the UEFA Champions League, with the latter reaching the semifinals. He has also been responsible for giving many young players a chance to shine with Eden Hazard, Hugo Lloris and Alexandre Lacazette all given their chance by the former Monaco midfielder.
With the Foxes in the quarterfinals of the League Cup, plus grabbing a win at Swansea City last weekend under Appleton’s guidance, their situation is looking pretty healthy right now and Puel won’t need time to adjust to a new league and country this time around.