Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez is expecting to be kicked by Premier League defenders in his upcoming matches after making a flying start to the season.
The Algeria winger, 24, has scored five goals in six league matches to kick off the new campaign and his agent recently played down reports linking him to Arsenal and Barcelona.
Mahrez insisted he has not been surprised by his early-season form, but has been pleased to add goals to his game since Claudio Ranieri’s arrival.
He does, however, expect to be on the receiving end of more aggressive defending now that his play has attracted so much attention.
“It is more difficult for me now that they know me – they will close a lot,” he said to Sky Sports.
“So I have to be careful now, they will start to kick me, the manager said to me as well. Last season I was like that as well [performing well] but did not have the success, now this year I have scored.
“The manager has given me a lot of responsibility and has given me a lot of confidence. I am not surprised about what I can do. I knew I could do things like this.”
Mahrez will be in action when fourth-placed Leicester face Arsenal on Saturday.