New Leicester City manager Claude Puel last night revealed that he is open to the idea of working with Hatem Ben Arfa once again.
Puel, who was announced as the man to take over from Craig Shakespeare at the King Power stadium last week, was questioned on a number of topics in a press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Stoke City this afternoon.
The 56-year-old Frenchman took charge of Southampton last season, where he led the club to a respectable 8th place finish, as well as the final of the League Cup.
However, after complaints arose regarding the defensive brand of football which he was utilising at St. Mary’s, the former Monaco midfielder was somewhat surprisingly sacked in June, after just one season in charge.
Allianz Riviera fortunes
Whilst Puel’s stint with the Saints will certainly not go down as one of his more memorable managerial reigns, one club with whom the Leicester boss was hailed for his work was Ligue 1 outfit Nice.
Having taken over in 2011 with the club stuck in the lower echelons of the French top-flight, Puel had managed to transform the fortunes of Nice by the time he departed in 2016, having led Les Aiglons to a 4th place Ligue 1 finish in his final season with the club.
Puel was questioned on one of the key players involved in his side’s resurgence during the 2015/16 campaign during his press conference last night, in the form of former Newcastle star Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Foxes have been linked with a move for the 30-year-old, now at PSG, for a number of weeks now, with Puel revealing:
‘I appreciate the player but I also appreciate the person. However, for the moment, it is more important to truly get to know my squad, the players and then look at possible winter recruitment.’
‘The first thing to do is assess the players that I already have at my disposal, respect them and then we will see.’
‘With the French Variety Club match [on Oct. 11], we even played together. This was new and very friendly. I found him very sharp, despite his difficult situation (at PSG). Even just in trainers, he is fit. The club that has the opportunity to sign Hatem will get a very good deal, I think.’