Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez will be a subject of potential interest from Arsenal and Tottenham this January, with reports from the Daily Mirror claiming that the London giants are ready to go head-to-head for the Algerian in the winter transfer window.
Riyad Mahrez’s rise to stardom hasn’t gone unnoticed since his resurgence in Leicester City’s fable a couple of seasons back. A player who was plying his trade in the French fourth tier in 2012 was named as the Players’ Player of the Year for 2015/2016 title-winning season in the Premier League, after scoring an impressive 17 goals and 11 assists. Hence, the link with some of the top clubs was obvious.
It is, however, surprising to see how the Foxes have managed to keep him at the King Power till date even after the fact that he himself tried to push himself out of the club. Prior to the summer transfer window, the Algerian was a subject of an interest from a host of European clubs. Mahrez endured one hell of a season last year and despite creating 50 goal scoring opportunities, he could only manage 3 assists.
Even after a poor turn of numbers, his potential was already recognised. By the end of May this year, Mahrez handed in a transfer request saying “now is the time to move on to a new experience”. Furthermore, the winger went on reveal Arsenal’s interest by saying,
“There was contact with Arsenal. But Leicester wanted to keep me and I was pretty expensive.”
But nothing noteworthy materialised in the end. Arsene Wenger, on his part, confessed his liking for the player by revealing
“We have not made a bid, but personally, I like the player, yes,”
But he also went on to say that his team “were never close” to landing him.
The picture, this time around, is completely different whatsoever. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have entered the final year of their respective contracts and are looking set to seal a move away from the Emirates next summer. On comes Riyad Mahrez in the picture for the Gunners. But then, Arsenal will see Tottenham in the foray as well. Our interest in Mahrez is a bit baffling to say the least, given that we already have Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela and N’Koudou at our disposal.
Agreed, that there were some concerns about the Sissoko’s form, but he has stood up quite brilliantly this season. Besides, Lamela is expected to return by January, so it will be interesting to see how Pochettino mixes the Algerian if he indeed manages to get him. Exciting times lie ahead!