Why Manchester City should keep hold of Riyad Mahrez despite exit links
As per Calciomercato (h/t The Express), Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez is open to leaving the club at the end of the season due to City’s Champions League ban.
Mahrez, 29, came through the ranks of Le Havre’s youth system and joined Leicester City in the summer of 2014. In his second season with the Foxes, he racked up 17 goals and 10 assists and was instrumental in Leicester’s Premier League-winning campaign.
He has established himself as one of the best forwards in the years to follow and his impressive performances convinced Manchester City to sign him in 2018. He helped Pep Guardiola’s side lift the Premier League trophy last season despite coming on as a substitute in the majority of the games.
Though he has not been a regular starter, the £120,000-a-week Algerian has been more than an able backup and is one of the best playmakers in the squad. His performances have been top-notch and has combined well with the other forwards in the last two campaigns.
Meanwhile, City have struggled in defending their title and have lost several league games which were supposed to be an easy outing for them. They are 25 points behind league leaders Liverpool and this league season has been one of their worst in the past few years.
Guardiola has had to do with several limitations, with star players Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane missing best parts of the campaign. Their defence has not been effective, with defensive midfielder Fernandinho being preferred ahead of some of the centre-backs.
In the attacking unit, Raheem Sterling has featured on the left wing without a proper backup due to Sane’s absence. Hence, the manager needs to be careful and must prioritize increasing the depth of the squad.
In that case, the manager should not let go of Riyad Mahrez, who has made an impact when he has come on from the bench.
The 29-year-old has already scored 7 goals and provided 10 assists despite playing fewer minutes than many members of the team. He was excellent in both the games against his former club, and also scored the winning goal against Chelsea back in November.
A right-winger by trade, Mahrez is capable of operating on the left and is good at constructing games for the team. He has done much better than Bernardo Silva this season and has the opportunity to become a regular starter.
The Algerian international is one of the standout performers for City this term and given his qualities, he can help the club return to the top next season. He can provide the manager with an option to choose from and a quality one that.
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City are in a difficult situation and losing their best players at this moment would not be good. They will struggle to find a replacement if their ban is not overturned and must take the decision to retain the best part of the squad.
Hence, they should block any exit for Mahrez and get the best out of him in the years to come.