By 90Min
December 30, 2017

Leicester boss Claude Puel has drawn comparisons between the Foxes' Harry Maguire and £75m pound man Virgil van Dijk, and has said that he hopes to coach the young English centre back into becoming a player of similar calibre.

Puel worked with Van Dijk at Southampton last season in his one term in charge of the of the Saints.

He claimed that the 26-year-old progressed under him, leading to the Liverpool bid for him back in the summer.

Liverpool finally got their man this week in a record-breaking £75m pound move, making the Dutchman the most expensive defender in the history of football.

However, with Puel now in charge of Leicester, he has turned his attention to helping England defender Harry Maguire progress into a top ball playing centre back.

The French coach has built a reputation for bringing on young talent, with his hands on approach, since working with Eden Hazard at Lille.

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Since his arrival to the King Power Stadium, he has already made an impact with England Under-21 Demarai Gray who has progressed well under his new head coach.

Now Puel sees a bright future for the 24-year-old Maguire who signed from relegated Hull for £17m in June.

When comparing the situation for Van Dijk and Maguire, said Puel (as quoted by Mirror Sport): “Virgil, in the beginning, was a player comfortable with the ball with good qualities and good potential.

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“But he played before with the defence just on the box without space behind him, without cover for the full-back.

“Last season we tried to play higher up the pitch, to have possession and to defend one against one, with 15 metres in his back. It is different things and an evolution, he made progress about this.

“For Harry it is a little bit the same thing, to take confidence one against one, to stay in contact with his striker. After, he has good technique and is comfortable also with the ball, we look to make progress sometimes on set-pieces and also in anticipation.

“But he is a young player with quality and an international player. He has to continue his form and improve. I am satisfied about him.”

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