Mirror believes that Manchester City Winger Riyad Mahrez could exit the Etihad club as his contract expires next summer. It is understood that City have identified Rafael Leao as a decent replacement for the Algerian forward, although a staggering £127.5m release clause makes it unlikely for the Skyblues to move in this summer.
Mahrez’s Campaign With Manchester City Last Season
Riyad Mahrez has had a solid campaign for the Mancunian giants despite coming off the bench for most of the matches. He has produced some influential displays on the attacking end of the field as he managed to score 17 goals and create 7 assists over 35 appearances across all fronts.
The Algerian sensation has made the most out of his appearances by performing consistently after averaging 2.2 shots, 1.4 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has been exceptional in distributing possession after completing 90% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).
Should Guardiola Cash In On Him?
Mahrez is skillful in getting behind the opposition defence using his excellent ball control and pace. He is quick in escaping his marker and creating space for himself to open up opportunities for finding the back of the net. He can also chip in with a few assists to set up his teammates in front of the goal.
Furthermore, the Algerian attacker is primarily a right-winger but remains versatile enough to feature as a centre-forward. He can significantly inject more goals to his side and make a major difference coming off the bench.
Guardiola would be wise to keep hold of him next season as Gabriel Jesus is set to exit and Raheem Sterling’s future remains uncertain. Selling him this summer could prove fatal as they head into a season involving the Winter World Cup at Qatar after which a lack in squad depth could become a cause for concern.
Pep Guardiola should find a decent replacement in the meantime, should Mahrez choose to exit Etihad Stadium next summer.