Leicester City’s manager Claude Puel on Thursday said he hoped Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez returns to the squad soon, having not played since a failed attempt to move to Manchester City on the transfer deadline day in January.
The 26-year-old has not featured for the Foxes since then, but Puel said he expected him to shrug that off the disappointment and return to the side.
“I think it is important to look forward,” Puel said.
“Riyad is a magnificent player and he loves football. He loves his relationship with his friends and team-mates,” he added.
The 56-year-old also noted that he needed to unify his side, and hoped that Mahrez would be back to enjoy football.
“I think it is important in this difficult time to keep all players, and club, united, to continue the hard work on the pitch. The best way is to come back and enjoy his football,” he said
“I hope Riyad can get his head right and comes back with us.”
Mahrez joined Leicester City in 2014 from French side Le Havre for a fee believed to be in the region of £400,000.
The Algerian was part of the Leicester team that won the Premier League in the 2015-16 season, and was voted the Algerian Footballer of the Year, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and was a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year.
The Algerian has scored nine goals in all competitions for Leicester, also managing seven assists.