Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arsenal should sign Mahrez before they lose him for good

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 29 Jul 2017

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Algerian international winger Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City.

Arsenal are still biding their time over making an approach for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez this summer and risk letting other clubs in the equation if they continue to hold off.

AS Roma have made two bids for the Algerian international and could procure his signature if they make an improved offer that meets Leicester’s demands.

Arsenal were very keen on Mahrez 12 months ago and remain interested this summer, so does Arsene Wenger need to make an approach before it’s too late?

Last season’s inconsistency raised doubts over true quality

Riyad Mahrez came to Arsenal’s attention after scoring 17 goals and making 11 assists from 36 Premier League games in 2015/16 as Leicester City won the title. Mahrez won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the Premier League Player of the Year, the Fans’ Player of the Year and made the PFA Team of the Year. However, the 26-year-old has seen his form spiral ever since.

Mahrez scored six goals and made three assists from 36 Premier League games last season, showcasing poor body language and being criticised for a lack of work ethic. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has long said he wouldn’t sign a player if he didn’t believe they can improve the side, and it’s clear the Gunners are worried Mahrez could struggle with an increase in expectations.

Signed from Le Havre in 2014, Mahrez completed his third Premier League campaign with Leicester last season, but his record showcases that 2015/16 might have actually been the fluke – scoring four league goals in 2014/15 and six in 2016/17. Wenger is likely to be hesitant paying £40m for his signature as a result.

Growing interest in Mahrez means Arsenal are running out of time

AS Roma have made two bids for Riyad Mahrez this summer and aren’t likely to completely give up until the transfer window comes to a close. Roma are 5/4 to sign Mahrez, but the likes of Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with the Algerian international too. AC Milan, who has been on a summer spending spree, have also been rumoured to be tracking the Leicester City man. As a result, the Gunners risk losing the winger if they don’t make an approach soon. Mahrez’s insistence to exit the King Power Stadium could mean he joins a lesser fancied side.

Arsenal were believed to be his first choice last summer and this, but if the Gunners aren’t going to make a bid, Mahrez will have to find another club if he can’t remain in the Midlands. He may feel let down by the Londoners as his transfer request was a ‘come and get me’ plea to Arsene Wenger’s men. But are Arsenal playing a risky game holding off?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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