Is Diabate the new Mahrez?

Leicester fans can thank manager Claude Puel’s son for bagging them a bargain in new boy Fousseni Diabate.

Diabate burst onto the first-team stage with two goals and a man-of-the-match display on his debut against League One promotion chasers Peterborough in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

And boss Puel then revealed how son Gregoire gave him in the inside track on the Malian forward, who signed this month for approximately £2m from Corsican club Gazelec Ajaccio.

Gregoire was a Gazelec team-mate of Diabate in the French Second Division - the same division where the Foxes discovered Premier League title-winning star Mahrez four years ago.

“I used my own opinion but my son knows Fouss very well and he gave me good news about him and about his positive, professional attitude,” said Puel senior.

“He said he was a good man and a good player and it was important for him to show this in his first game.

“My son played with him and I followed his games and I thought this player could have good attributes to play in the Premier League in the future.

“In France a lot of clubs knew this player and at Ajaccio he was a good player but without perhaps being clinical and without a fantastic game.

“But it was important to feel something about him and good attributes for the future and with good work.

“It’s important to look not just at the great teams, but to look for young players with quality and then try to develop them.”

Diabaté has been compared already to Riyad Mahrez who is now one of the most highly-regarded attacking players in Europe.

Puel has moved to dampen the Mahrez comparisons.“Of course he is not the same quality for the moment as an experienced player like Mahrez but I think for the future he will be a good solution.

“He is a young player and he just has to continue to improve and work. He had a good match to make progress, it is good for him and his confidence and now it’s important that he keeps this good spirit and not just play one game." 

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