We are being linked with a somewhat surprising move for Riyad Mahrez this January, with Arsene Wenger apparently looking to complete a deal to sign the Leicester City star in the coming weeks, as reported by Foot365 (via the Metro).
This time last year this story would have seemed absolutely preposterous, as the Algerian star was a relative nobody in the grand scheme of things. Fast forward 12 months though, and the 24-year-old is one of the deadliest players in the Premier League.
With a seven goals and six assists to his name in the Premier League so far this season, there are few who boast better stats than Mahrez. He’s been instrumental in Leicester City’s rise to the top of the table, and along with Jamie Vardy has to take a large part of the credit for their success.
Mahrez is currently on the same number of goals this season as Olivier Giroud, and has scored one more than last season’s superstar Alexis Sanchez.
We’re badly lacking wide options at the moment, especially with the number of injuries currently affecting us. So could it actually be a smart move?
It’s likely that this is just a purple patch for Mahrez, and that he won’t continue in this vein of form for too long. He still has undeniable quality though, quality Wenger may be able to coax out of him on a more regular basis.
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Our current wide options are very limited, with Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Joel Campbell our only real wide players – although Wenger likes to deploy the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere there as well.
Campbell doesn’t appear to have a future at the club though, and sometimes you need more natural width to break down your opponent. Ramsey has done excellently when playing out on the right, but he can occasionally leave us a little narrow, especially when Hector Bellerin is prevented from getting forward to create width.
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Depending on the price, Mahrez could be an excellent signing in January. He’s got an eye for goal, is an excellent crosser of the ball, and his pace and dribbling ability is similar to that of Alexis Sanchez. But on current form, how much would he cost?