Arsenal keen on Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez
According to football.london, Arsenal are ‘on the hunt’ for a creative player and Manchester City winger, Riyad Mahrez, has been linked with a move to the Emirates. The Algerian international is in the last two years of his contract that expires in the summer of 2023, and Arsenal could be the team that snaps him up in the near future.
Mahrez was bought by Leicester City in 2014 from French side, AC Le Havre. The winger went on to play an important role in the Foxes’ memorable Premier League win under Claudio Ranieri some five year back. A £61m move to Manchester City followed in 2018, but should Mikel Arteta push to bring the 30-year-old to London?
A winger like Riyad Mahrez would benefit Arsenal
The Gunners could be short of quality wingers going into the new season. While they have Nicolas Pepe manning the right flank, Willian could be on his way out. According to football.london, the 32-year-old Brazilian winger, along with Alexandre Lacazette, could be among several players that Arsenal could offload in the summer.
Even if he stays, the former Chelsea man is on a contract that runs out in the the summer of 2023. Willian, who turns 33 before the start of this Premier League season, has had a mixed time at the North London club. As for Lacazette, the French striker has often pushed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the left flank in Arteta’s set-up.
If he is to leave, then the Gabonese international could assume a role as the club’s primary number 9 and open up a space on the left wing. That would warrant someone to step up in their current squad. Bukayo Saka, the versatile teenager, can be the man for the job. He has played along both flanks and is a useful player to have in the squad.
But the 19-year-old’s young legs should not be overburdened and he should be eased into the first-team picture without having to start 40+ games at his young age. For that, Arteta would need depth and experience; players that can come in and slot straight into the first-team picture as regular starters. Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli are still very young as well.
Mahrez would bring the winning pedigree with him
The former played just 69 minutes of league football last season for Arsenal and is clearly not trusted enough by his Spanish manager to take over the role as a starter. Martinelli, 20, is going through something similar. After an injury led to him miss the start of last season, he often found himself warming the bench for the Gunners.
And so, in Riyad Mahrez they will get a proven winger with tons of experience in English football. The Algerian has what it takes to be an important player in a title-winning team, having won the Premier League with both the Foxes as well as the Citizens. His status as a top winger and quality down the right-hand side would make him an instant contender to be the first name on Arsenal’s team-sheet.
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The 2016 PFA Player of the Year has just two years remaining on his deal, which can mean City don’t have the strongest hand in any possible transfer negotiations for him. And at 30, he is still capable of playing at the top level for at least a couple of seasons. Arteta has a number of talented youngsters. What he now needs is an experienced player like Mahrez who knows his way around trophies.