Claude Puel has revealed he is coaching Harry Maguire to be a top ball-playing defender like Virgil van Dijk.
French coach Puel worked with Van Dijk at Southampton last season in his one term in charge on the South Coast.
He says Van Dijk,26, progressed under him leading to Liverpool to bid for the Dutch stopper in the summer.
The Reds finally got their man this week in a world-record £75million deal for a defender.
Now Puel, in charge at Leicester, has turned his attentions to improving England international defender Maguire.
Hands-on coach Puel has a reputation for bringing on young talent since working with Eden Hazard at Lille.
He has already had a big impact at the King Power Stadium with England U21 starlet Demarai Gray.
Now he has high hopes too for stopper Maguire,24, signed from relegated Hull in June for £17million.
Puel explained: “Virgil in the beginning was a player comfortable with the ball with good qualities and good potential.
“But he played before with the defence just on the box without space behind him, without cover for the full-back.
“Last season we tried to play higher up the pitch, to have possession and to defend one against one, with 15 metres in his back.
“It is different things and an evolution, he made progress about this.
“For Harry it is a little bit the same thing, to take confidence one against one, to stay in contact with his striker.
“After, he has good technique and is comfortable also with the ball.
“We look to make progress sometimes on set-pieces and also in anticipation.
“But he is a young player with quality and an international player.
“He has to continue his form and improve. I am satisfied about him.”
Maguire, who has three England caps, produced some indifferent displays earlier this term.
But he was outstanding in the EFL Cup quarter-final loss on penalties to Man City which impressed Pep Guardiola.
He then followed it up in the 2-2 draw against Man United with a last-gasp equaliser.
Puel is enjoying coaching Maguire and says he loves trying to develop young talent.
He believes it is important for the future of English football to improve players rather than just buy ready-made stars.
But Puel admits it can be hard for coaches, who don't always get enough time from impatient owners.
Puel added: “English football needs to develop young English players for the national team.
“It will be important to develop all the players, not just to buy the best players in the world.
“It’s about technique, intelligence with the ball, and to build something with young players into the team, it’s a long process.
“I don’t know if all the owners and chairman are ready to respect the results because it’s the Premier League.”
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