Ranieri: Leicester signings not to blame for poor form

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The champions have made a dreadful start to the season, but their boss does not believes the likes of Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani are responsible

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is refusing to blame his team's signings for the poor defence of their Premier League title.

The champions are 14th in the table after 13 top-flight matches, only two points clear of the relegation zone despite having spent big-money ahead of the 2016-17 season.

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Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa and Nampalys Mendy all arrived at the King Power Stadium for eight-figure fees, but the club's best performances have been reserved for the Champions League, where they have already qualified for the last 16.

But Ranieri is not pointing fingers at Leicester's recruitment team, insisting all players need time to adjust to a new club – just like Riyad Mahrez did when he signed from Le Havre in January 2014.

"The recruitment is very good and I'm very happy," Ranieri told reporters ahead of Saturday's away game against Sunderland.

"But it's not always certain when you bring in new players that they start very well.

"Riyad Mahrez started in his second year. If he needed six or seven months, imagine [how it is for] the others.

"If we compare with last season, we are missing everything, but the spirit is the same."

Ranieri, though, will be looking to reinforce his squad in January as they look to improve on a league record of just three wins since the start of the campaign.

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He added: "Of course, we are looking in all directions and we need somebody."

Leicester have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Genk midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, although Ranieri would not confirm that.