Saturday, September 30, 2023

Manchester City Star Agrees On A Move To Saudi: Should Guardiola Keep Him At The Etihad?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

According to a report from The Sun, Riyad Mahrez, the Manchester City star, has reached an agreement on a remarkable £410,000-a-week transfer to Saudi Arabia. Despite this, the winger does not intend to force a move after achieving a Treble victory under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.

Al-Ahli, having made initial contact last month, have presented Mahrez with an enticing contract worth £410k per week. The forward is interested in a move to the Middle East, feeling that the timing is right for a new chapter in his career, and has already agreed on personal terms. However, it now rests in the hands of Man City to decide Mahrez’s future, with Guardiola reportedly keen to retain his services.

Mahrez’s Remarkable Performance For Manchester City Last Season

Once again, Riyad Mahrez showcased his exceptional skills at the Etihad Stadium, delivering a series of impressive displays from the right flank under the guidance of Pep Guardiola. The talented winger, hailing from France, made a significant impact by contributing 15 goals and providing 12 assists in 44 appearances for Manchester City across all competitions during the season.

Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City
Manchester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the team’s second goal during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester City and Sheffield United at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 22, 2023. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Consistency proved to be one of Mahrez’s key attributes in the attacking third, evidenced by his average of 1.4 shots, 1.7 key passes, and 0.8 successful dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. Additionally, his distribution in the opponent’s half was exemplary, boasting a pass success rate of 86.8% in league matches, according to statistics from Whoscored.

Should Guardiola Keep Him At The Etihad For A Couple More Years?

Mahrez consistently demonstrates his brilliance as a skilled dribbler, utilizing his speed and creativity to trouble opposing defenders. The Algerian sensation maintains a high level of productivity in the attacking third, rarely relinquishing possession cheaply in the opponent’s half. Although primarily deployed as a right-sided wide player, Mahrez possesses the versatility to excel both as a right-winger and even as an attacking midfielder in a central role when the situation demands.

Although Riyad Mahrez is 32, he continues to showcase his ability to perform at a high level, indicating that he has a few more years ahead of top-level football. However, due to increased competition within Manchester City‘s attacking department, the former Leicester City winger has experienced a reduction in playing time compared to previous seasons. As a result, a potential departure from the Etihad Stadium could offer better prospects for the Algerian.

If Mahrez were to leave, it would undoubtedly be a significant loss for the Sky Blues. Therefore, it would be advisable for Guardiola to retain him for another year, as he still has the potential to make a meaningful impact and provide more depth in the final third of the upcoming season.

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