By Tom Hawley
In my personal opinion, Riyadh Mahrez is a one-season wonder. Quite why so many clubs want to buy him is beyond me, so when I heard Arsene Wenger waxing lyrically about the winger’s talents, I was more than a bit surprised.
If I were Leicester manager, Craig Shakespeare, I would cash in on Mahrez right now. The winger signed a new deal last year, so there is no way that the Foxes could get more money for his services if they wait any longer to sell him.
I am not going to deny that under Claudio Ranieri, Mahrez was PFA Player of the Year. If you win an accolade like that, you must be doing something right! However, since then, his star has been on the wane. It has been all downhill, since Mahrez reached those heights.
My prediction is Mahrez’s output will be minimal again next season if he remains at the King Power Stadium. Therefore, the best thing for the club and the player is to offload him while there are still takers out there in the transfer market.
I have heard rumours that Juventus are interested in the Algerian. To be honest, I do not believe this transfer speculation. In fact, it may have been generated by the player’s agent to increase interest from other clubs.
After Mahrez’s displays and his alleged involvement in Ranieri’s departure, you can understand why some clubs that were interested in buying him last year are no longer pursuing him. Mahrez went down in the fans’ estimation after a number of poor performances last season.
Despite all of this, my prediction is Mahrez will stay put. Leicester have not had any concrete offers for the player and that sums the sort of season he has had: more miss than hit! Miss-man Mahrez will struggle to get a new club and, for that reason, Arsenal might actually win the race for this player, if their interest is truly genuine.