Harry Maguire commands “respect” for keeping his feet on the ground after his World Cup exploits with England, according to Claude Puel.
Talismanic defender Maguire drilled a last-gasp winner as Leicester saw off Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday, sparking raucous Foxes celebrations.
Puel rushed the pitch in his own exuberant toast of that victory, then later paid tribute to Maguire for not letting recent successes go to his head.
“He didn’t change, and it was important he didn’t change after his fantastic World Cup,” said Puel. “It’s always difficult for a young player like Harry to come back and to come back with a good mentality, good focus and concentration.
“That’s all important for a defender, and he came back focused and I have big respect for this. Because not a lot of players have that ability and capacity to come back and do that straight away, after a big World Cup like Harry, to come back with this good attitude and mentality.
“Now it’s important he continues to find this good stability and emotion, and it was a good reward to score that goal.”
Maguire bagged a vital goal when England beat Sweden 2-0 at the World Cup to progress to the semi-finals in Russia in the summer.
The 25-year-old slotted another important strike on Saturday in Leicester’s win over Saints, leading to high praise from his club boss.
Maguire was linked with a summer move to Manchester United, and Leicester are thankful he remains with them.
“He’s a perfect team-mate, because he can give good information, but also he’s a good team-mate for our people,” said Puel, of Maguire. “He gives his best, and he’s here to train, and work hard.
“He’s calm on the pitch and his good character and personality comes through. It’s a good mix.”