Leicester City could not replace Riyad Mahrez with his quality because supposed alternatives were ‘too expensive’, according to coach Claude Puel.
In the summer, a protracted transfer tussle came to an end as Mahrez switched the East Midlands for the blue half of Manchester in a club record £60 million deal.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Thorgan Hazard and Felipe Anderson – who moved to West Ham United from Lazio – were few of the names touted as the 2016 PFA Player of the Year winner’s replacement.
However, Puel disclosed that options the quality of the Algeria international left them with were not affordable.
“We lost Riyad and we cannot replace him with his quality,” Puel was quoted as saying by Fansided.
“And about the price also because it’s too expensive to buy this player.”
James Maddison and Rachid Ghezzal were instead brought in from Norwich United and Monaco for a combined £30 million.
While Maddison – predominantly an attacking midfielder – has already shown what he has in store, Ghezzal, as evidenced by his cameo in their opening day 2-1 loss to Manchester United, is yet to get going.
Puel has, however, stated the need to spread out Mahrez’s qualities between the players at his disposal.
“It was important to give those attributes for the squad and to share the responsibility in the team,” he continued.
“Not just Maddison, but for the future it will be also Ghezzal or different players.
“We try to give good additions for the squad with different talented players and we will see this in the next games.
“For the first game, the players that came in the transfer window played well, and it’s encouraging for the next games.”