Claude Puel compares Leicester City winger Demarai Gray to former protege Eden Hazard

Demarai Gray has similar qualities to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and must strive to match the Belgian’s high standards, Leicester City manager Claude Puel said on Thursday. The 21-year-old Gray, who signed a new four-year contract on Thursday to keep him at Leicester until June 2021, scored his first league goal in more than a year in last week’s 2-0 win over Everton in Puel’s first game in charge.

Puel, who worked with Chelsea playmaker Hazard while in charge of Lille, said winger Gray has the same attributes that helped the Belgian break into the French club’s first team as a 16-year-old.

“He (Hazard) was unique. Demarai is the same, he can keep the quickness a long time with the ball,” Puel told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier trip to Stoke City.

“He’s good with the ball and good without the ball… a good player with good penetration, quality and he can make a difference. Now it’s important to confirm and to stay at this level is the most important thing but the most difficult.

“He is technical and can play with good relationships with team mates. (It is) a good opportunity and we will see if he can continue to perform.”

Leicester, who are 11th in the table with 12 points, have collected just five points from a possible 15 on the road this season.

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