Puel: Leicester must protect Maguire from increased attention

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Leicester defender Harry Maguire is still coming to terms with the increased attention being paid to him, according to his manager Claude Puel.

The 25-year-old centre-half went to the World Cup as a relative unknown but returned with a significantly increased profile after starring in England’s run to the semi-finals.

Maguire’s performances in Russia saw him become the subject of a major transfer rumour about Manchester United attempting to sign him, who this month agreed a new five-year contract with Leicester.

It has been a whirlwind summer for the defender, and Puel said: “I have had some discussions with Harry about this, all this attention around him.

“It is crazy. It is the first time for him and he has to manage this attention and to keep a good focus and concentration. It is a new experience for him.

“He is a young player, a fantastic player, but he is a human. He is learning how to deal with it. It is very tough what has happened around him and to manage this for the first time is very difficult but I am happy he is working for the team.

“Myself and the club sometimes have to protect him and help him with all this attention around him.”

Maguire has played every minute of Leicester’s five Premier League matches this season, as well as 90 minutes for England against Switzerland during the recent international break.

He has played 63 matches in all competitions since the beginning of last season, including seven at the World Cup, and Puel is considering giving the defender a rest.

However, Puel insists it is not because his newfound attention is taking its toll on his performances.

“He is a fantastic player, he has been fantastic this season,” said Puel. “We have to accept sometimes that he can be up and down, this is normal. But he is a player who listens all the time and who is happy and confident about his way.

“He is learning about this new experience for him and he is a good listener, very attentive.”

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