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Leicester pray for a quiet Christmas

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scripted an incredible season for Leicerster City. Photo courtesy:
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scripted an incredible season for Leicerster City. Photo courtesy:
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scripted an incredible season for Leicester City. Photo courtesy:

They have been the bright spark of a Premier League season that has seen the traditional big teams fall by the wayside and struggle to put in a decent string of results. They have been the team that has announced their arrival on the English stage with a bang. And yet, Leicester, league leaders, want a quiet, uneventful Christmas.

Their stars, notably goal machine Jamie Vardy and midfielder par excellence Riyad Mahrez, are on top of the dream shopping list of all major clubs around England and the rest of Europe, but manager Claudio Ranieri is adamant that Leicester will pull the transfer window firmly shut once it opens in January, lest it disrupts the harmony, so carefully forged, in the dressing room.

“When you do this kind of performance during a lot of times it is not only Vardy or Mahrez – remember even Maradona alone, did nothing. He needed other players around him,” Ranieri said. “Sometimes I’m asked, ‘In the window, what’s happening?’ Nothing! We have a very good team and an incredible spirit in this team. They are close to each other. They help each other. If we take one, two, three players and wreck the dressing room? No! The team is fantastic.”

Mahrez, too, is sure he is not going anywhere in January.

“It’s best for me to stay until the end of the season. I was at Le Havre, I had six months left but nobody came to get me. Leicester tried very hard to get me,” Mahrez told RMC, a French radio station.

The winger, who was playing at the obscure Ligue 2 club Le Havre when he was approached by the Foxes, knows where his loyalties lie.

“I could feel that they wanted me,” he said. “I took the decision without knowing the culture or the area. It was a risk. When you come from far away and you ended up in the Premier League it makes you happy.”

Leicester are now on the top of the Premier League table, but Mahrez believes his side are not title contenders yet.

“We are not going to win the league, no. I don’t think we have broad enough shoulders to do it. At the moment we are first, but that means nothing, the big teams will wake up at some point,” he said.

However, for now, Leicester are enjoying the spoils of victory as they sit high on their perch on the table and watch the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea struggle to make sense of this season – a season the Foxes seem to have cracked so well.

Their wish for Christmas: more of the same, please!

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