'Big players and big teams' - Leicester star comments on difference between Premier League and Championship

Leicester City

Riyad Mahrez has adapted to the Premier League in incredible style since signing for Leicester.

The Algerian international winger completed a switch to the King Power Stadium in January 2014, signing a three-and-a-half year contract with the Championship winners.

Signing from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre, Mahrez arrived in England as something of an unknown quantity, but he went on to score three goals in 19 games last season, helping the Foxes storm the second division, and winning his first international cap for the Algerian national side.

His rise to prominence coincided with his inclusion in Algeria’s squad for the 2014 World Cup, and he has started the current season continuing his ascent, scoring his first Premier League goal on October 4 in the Foxes 2-2 draw with fellow promoted side Burnley.

Despite impressing in the early part of the season, Nigel Pearson’s men have struggled in recent weeks, and Mahrez has looked to be the only creative spark in a side fruitless in front of goal. Whilst considered a luxury player for his lack of defensive ability, the 23-year-old believes that he suits the Premier League due to having more time and space to work with the ball.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, Mahrez revealed the differences between the Premier League and the Championship.

“There are more big players,” the winger said.

“More big teams, so the game is faster, more technical, it is harder.

“I have more space. In the Championship, I did not have as much space.”

Onlookers have been shocked with Mahrez’s unlikely rise to prominence, but the player admitted that he has always been aware of his quality - and is always working hard to reach it.

“I am not surprised because I have worked hard for this,” he added.

“I work hard always. I know my quality, too."

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