By 90Min
February 12, 2018

Riyad Mahrez returned to action for Leicester City in the Foxes' heavy defeat to league leaders Manchester City. The Algerian had missed 10 days of training after a deadline day move to the Sky Blues was blocked. 

Leicester manager Claude Puel has now said he is prepared to forgive Mahrez for his behaviour and forget the ugly affair. 

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The manager has previously said that it is important now for Leicester to look to the future, and after finally putting this Mahrez situation to rest the club may be able to finally do that.

Speaking after the 5-1 defeat to Man City, Puel said, as quoted by the Mirror, "Sometimes some players can do some mistakes. It was the first time for him. It was surely a mistake, but the most important thing is to look forward."

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Mahrez was denied a move to Manchester in the closing hours of the January transfer window after a bid of £60m for the 26-year-old was turned down. Leicester demanded £95m for their talisman, which City were not willing to pay. Devastated that the move fell through, Mahrez refused to show up to training or play for the Foxes. 

"The situation, it was difficult for him, it was difficult for us, so it was important to approach it with calm and to come back together on the pitch."

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But Mahrez has now returned and came off the bench in the game against City. Unfortunately, his return was not enough the soften the beating by a relentless City side where Sergio Aguero bagged four of the goals. 

"The most important thing is we have a fantastic player for the squad, for the club, for the fans," Puel added. "He's a pleasure to watch and we are united, of course."

"It was important that he came back quick and had a good attitude. It was important for him to come back for him, the team and the fans. He has a good focus and a good concentration about his football."

Despite the heavy defeat, Leicester are still maintaining a push for a top half finish to end of the Premier League season. They currently sit in eighth place but are without a win in their last three league games. Perhaps fortunes can change with Mahrez now back in the fold. 

"We have a very good player for this squad. He is now with his team-mates and all his focus and concentration is on his team mates and the club and for the fans. He will give a good response for all the time and to bring all his qualities to the squad."

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