Riyad Mahrez played a role in encouraging his compatriot Islam Slimani to join Leicester City, according to the club’s new record signing.
Slimani said his Algeria international team-mate was in contact prior to a €30million switch from Sporting CP on transfer deadline day, and the pair are now looking forward to playing together under Claudio Ranieri.
The 28-year-old striker also revealed he watched nearly every Leicester game last season as the Foxes stunned the football world by winning the Premier League title.
“My dear friend Riyad Mahrez spoke to me lots of times about the club and how good a club it was,” he told the Leicester website.
“The idea of playing together [with Riyad] again is great for both of us, not only at a national team level but at a club level. That’s great for our national team as well. I watched almost every game last year that Leicester played.
“As everyone knows, Leicester City are the Premier League champions – the champions of England. For me, it was a club where I could come and become an even better player and also contribute a lot to the defence of the title.”
According to Slimani, the Foxes’ fairy tale triumph, with Mahrez at the fore, has made Ranieri’s team hugely popular in the North African country.
“Leicester City is without doubt the most supported club in Algeria now, thanks to Riyad Mahrez and his participation at the club.
“It [winning the Premier League] was a big story and what it also showed was that anything can happen in football. That caught everyone’s eye.”