Riyad Mahrez has been tracked by Arsenal for the last 18 months, but last night it appears City have swooped in and snatched the Algerian winger at the last minute. But newer reports have suggested that Mahrez was so confident of his move to Arsenal finally happening, that he purchased property in London. So, should Arsenal make a last minute bid?
City have reportedly offered in the region of £50m, despite Leicester wanting closer to £80m for the 26 year old. The deal has come about following Leroy Sane’s six week layoff, and has angered football fans nationwide; with City’s financial muscle once again taking the shine off Pep’s coaching successes.
If Mahrez was to move to City, he would be a stop gap for one of the best young players in the world. Sane is still in the early stages of his career, while Mahrez is coming into his peak years. With this in mind, Pep will be pushing Sane much harder when he returns and Mahrez will have to settle for a spot on the bench.
The fact that City can spend over £50m on a player to cover for six weeks is absolutely disgusting, and shows the state of modern football. It also highlights the fallacy of Guardiola’s achievements. The deal would take City’s spending under Pep to over £500m in 18 months, a figure that no other manager could ever come close to spending on transfers.
But, that is beside the point. Mahrez going to City is a poor move for his career. Yes, he may finish the season with four medals, but he will also finish the season as a less attractive option for future employers, because he will not be a regular at City. If he went to Arsenal, he would play most weeks, and his style would improve Arsenal overnight.
With Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan already Arsenal players, Riyad Mahrez would cap off a glittering attack for the club, and allow them to focus on defensive options in the summer. Add in Lacazette and Ozil, and you’ve got one of the best attacking line ups not just in England, but in European football.
Unfortunately for Mahrez, and perhaps for Arsenal, this deal is unlikely to happen today. Arsenal are focusing their efforts on a central defender, and while Mahrez could be an option in the summer, he is unlikely to top the list of transfer target today. And, if City are really going for Mahrez, Arsenal will pull out rather than wasting their time on a battle they will not win.