Ranieri: Slimani ready to play

Claudio Ranieri says Islam Slimani is ready to make his Leicester debut despite having not trained with his new teammates yet.

The Foxes face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, with Ranieri also able to welcome Kasper Schmeichel back into the fold after the Danish goalkeeper recovered from a minor hernia operation during the international break.

Ranieri revealed that the club's record signing, who cost £28million from Sporting Lisbon on transfer deadline day, is ready to play and to score goals – following his goalless appearance in Algeria’s 6-0 Africa Cup of Nations victory over Lesotho this week.

The enigmatic Leicester boss said: "I haven’t seen him (yet) 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 they we will see.

"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 added: "He’s similar to (Leonardo) Ulloa. Now we have two big boys up front who can also play together. We have a good platform and are building now – when we play lot of matches I’m very confident when they’re fit and ready to play."

With regards to Schmeichel, the manager explained: "He is ready to play. I said it was a very little operation, it was good, the surgery was fantastic and he is ready to play."

Nampalys Mendy and Jeffrey Schlupp are, however, still unavailable as they continue to overcome their respective injuries.

"[Nampalys] Mendy is training on the bike, sometimes outside, and when he comes back with the first team he needs a week.

"Jeff [Schlupp] has started with us, the normal warm-up, and then he does something different. He is close to coming back. I don't want to risk them [against Liverpool]," he concluded.

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