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Leicester City’s Slimani set for hurried debut


London (AFP) – Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri could give a debut to record signing Islam Slimani against Liverpool on Saturday even though the Algeria striker is yet to train with the Premier League champions.

Slimani joined Leicester from Sporting Lisbon for an initial fee of around £28 million ($37 million, 33 million euros) on August 31 and is only due to arrive at his new club on Friday after international duty.

But despite Slimani having been absent, playing in Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations win over Lesotho, Ranieri insists he won’t hesitate to play him at Anfield this weekend.

“I haven’t seen him but I will speak with him. He is available for Saturday, he could play but I want to speak with him, to see him and then we will see,” Ranieri said on Thursday.

“Yes (it would be a big call), but he is good. He only has to score goals. He is ready, he played all the matches with Sporting and he is ready to play with us.

“It is important when a player changes country that he has to adapt and keep calm. Of course we bought him because we believe in his ability.

“It is a goalscorer but it is important he understands the Premier League. It is different from the Portuguese league but he is a very interesting player.

“He cost a lot of money but if you see the market, it was crazy. I think as a goalscorer he cost less than others. He was a good buy for us.”

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