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Leicester City news: 'Unknown' Riyad Mahrez making impressive strides, says Nigel Pearson

By Leicester Mercury  |  Posted: October 08, 2014

Riyad Mahrez is making his mark at the King Power Stadium

Riyad Mahrez is making his mark at the King Power Stadium

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Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has warned against rising expectation placing too much pressure on midfielder Riyad Mahrez.

The Algerian international has experienced a meteoric rise over the past nine months after being plucked from the second tier of French football by City.

Little was known of the 23-year-old winger when City paid Le Havre £400,000 for his services in January but Mahrez has settled into English football remarkably quickly and, after establishing himself in Pearson's starting line-up and helping City to the Championship title, his performances earned him an international call-up and a place at the World Cup finals. Mahrez returned to the City starting line-up, set up one goal and scored the other in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Burnley.

But while Pearson has praised Mahrez's emergence he said he hoped too much wouldn't be expected too quickly of Mahrez.

"He was an unknown player when he joined us," said Pearson. "I thought he did exceptionally well for us last season, to such an extent he was selected for Algeria and went to the World Cup.

"That is a huge, steep ascent in terms of stature in the game.

"He has ability. We feel we have a number of match-winners at both ends.

"It's not just about being able to create but certainly it's good to get that blend.

"One of the dangers for people like Riyad would be that expectation can climb through the roof if you're not careful. What can go with that, and what's probably not as easy to deal with, is those expectation levels may change.

"We have to keep an eye on how players develop and he's done very well in his time here.

"But of course, he's a young player and he will make mistakes but he will also have a very positive impact.

"He's a popular member of our squad."

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