Arsenal are looking to rival Manchester City’s interests for Leicester City winger, Riyad Mahrez. Ever since his move to Etihad on the transfer deadline day fell through, the Algerian has gone off the grid and has not shown up to the training. When asked about his situation, club manager, Claude Puel said, “After some time, he will come back with us. He is our friend and I think all the staff and all the players will help him to come back with a good mentality and a positive attitude and to enjoy his football with his team-mates.”
Arsenal are in the market for a winger after Theo Walcott departed for Everton for £20m earlier in January. The club lost Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United and even though have received Henrikh Mkhitaryan in return, Arsene Wenger needs the pace of an out-and-out wide man to provide the team with the necessary width.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also made a club exit last summer and Wenger is left with Alex Iwobi as his only first-team option to replace Sanchez on the left wing. Iwobi is better suited to a more central position and Danny Welbeck to the number nine role. Mkhitaryan can feature on the right and can switch with Mesut Ozil in a free-flowing attack, but the club still needs a pacey presence with an ability to lead the side’s counter attacks and supply the striker force from the flanks.
All of us witnessed the brilliance of Riyad Mahrez couple of seasons back when the Algerian lead his team to the Premier League title and won himself the PFA Player of the year award. Mahrez is a combination of subtle class and offensive genius. His deft touch on the ball often gets the better of opposition defenders as he dribbles past them at will.
He has racked up 9 goals and 9 assists in 27 appearances this season and is a key figure in the Leicester squad. Operating from the right flank, Mahrez is delegated with the creative responsibilities for the Foxes attacks and the 26-year-old does it quite well.
However, with both Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the club, does Arsenal need another ball dominant player like Mahrez? The Leicester is a star player for the Foxes but might not be the best fit with the Gunners in the current climate. Wenger is better off pursuing players like Malcom, Thomas Lemar and Richarlison.
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