Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Puel places his faith in Diabate after dream debut

Peterborough United 1 Leicester City 5

By Philip Duncan

Claude Puel hopes new signing Fousseni Diabate can star for Leicester in the Premier League after he scored twice on his debut in Saturday's 5-1 FA Cup demolition of Peterborough.

Diabate, who made a dream start to his Leicester career as he found the back of the next with just nine minutes on the clock, joined the Foxes from Ligue 2 side Gazelec Ajaccio a fortnight ago for £2m.

Leicester have good form with the French leagues having signed both Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante in recent seasons and Puel, whose eldest son Gregoire played alongside Diabate at Gazelec, is confident the 22-year-old has all the attributes to follow in the footsteps of his esteemed predecessors.

"He played in the second division in France but I've followed him a lot and I thought he could become a good opportunity for Leicester," Puel said.

"He has good attributes to play in the Premier League: pace, a good engine. He can make good penetration but also good combinations with his team-mates.

"Now, he has to continue this good work on the pitch and in training, and step-by-step we will see if we can give him some game time in the Premier League."

Diabate was among 10 changes made by Puel for the trip to Peterborough, and the Sky Bet League One outfit were swept aside with Kelechi Iheanacho and Diabate both scoring twice, while Wilfred Ndidi also found the back of the net.

Leicester academy graduate Harvey Barnes (20) also featured, making only his second appearance for the club after he was recalled by Puel earlier this month following an impressive loan spell with Barnsley.

"I think the six months at Barnsley were really valuable to me," Barnes said. "I've learned a lot, as I did last year when I was on loan at MK Dons and then it's been really good stepping back into it.

"I'm feeling a lot of confidence from the manager and hopefully I can repay that faith in me."

Peterborough, who reached the fourth round courtesy of an impressive victory against Aston Villa, will now turn their attentions back to League One and the race for a play-off place.

"Our boys have done brilliantly to get here, and if anyone saw us at Villa we were outstanding, but we did not play nowhere near that level against Leicester," manager Grant McCann said.

"It is a great learning curve for me, a great learning curve for the players, and we will come back stronger for our league games."

Peterborough United1

Leicester City5

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