Leicester City have found a 'real gem' in Anthony Knockaert
Leicester City have unearthed a real gem in winger Anthony Knockaert, according to assistant manager Craig Shakespeare.
Shakespeare said the France Under-21 international was the catalyst for City as they came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 on Wednesday and maintain their 100 per cent home league record.
He hailed fellow assistant manager Steve Walsh for discovering the 20-year-old in the second tier of the French league, and said questions are now being asked in France about how such a talent has slipped through the fingers of the top French clubs.
"Steve Walsh does all the recruitment and he went out to watch him, although David Mills (who heads Walsh's scouting team) went out first to watch him," said Shakespeare, below.
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"They watched him over six, seven or eight games. They came back raving about him a couple of times. Nigel (Pearson) and I sat down and watched the DVDs and did a bit of homework in terms of his character.
"We scouted him well and he played in various positions. I think he can have an influence wherever he plays, but I thought him moving into that central area and making us tick he was the catalyst for us in the second half.
"When he played for the under-21s the other week, and scored, the reports in France were all about how could the top French clubs have missed out on him. That is a credit to Steve and his scouting team.
"It is a good scalp for the club and a great acquisition for us in terms of him being an asset, and at the age he is, just 20, he will develop and get better.
"I am not sure of the exact amount we paid for him but we could triple that at the moment."
Shakespeare said the diminutive winger had struck a comical friendship with giant striker Marko Futacs, which has helped him to settle in Leicester.
"He can speak English, but he gets by with the help of Marko Futacs," said Shakespeare.
"Seeing them together is a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in the film Twins. They have become good friends.
"When you think of a boy of that age, coming across to this country and having to settle in, and the demands of the Championship, I think he is a real find and a real talent for this club.
"He is an asset for the future. If you can imagine sending your boy across from France and him having to settle in, he has shown he has the strength of character to cope. He is a very bubbly character in the dressing-room.
"He is a good signing for us and the lad can play, there is no doubt about that."