One of the stars of Leicester City’s title winning campaign of 2016 recently announced to the club his intention’s to leave. But a potential move to Arsenal makes no sense.
Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who has just finished his fourth season with the Foxes told his employers that he was ready to move on and taste European football once more.
In his statement, Mahrez said:
“I’ve had the four best seasons of my career at Leicester and I have loved every moment.
“However I am fiercely ambitious and feel that now is the time to move on to a new experience,”
No one can argue with Mahrez’s aspirations. European football will not be coming to the King Power Stadium next season and at 26, he is coming towards his peak years of his ability.
There were inklings last summer that Mahrez wanted out but he was persuaded to join the European dream which was a dream as City defied expectations to reach the quarter finals.
But with his heart set on leaving Leicester, rumorus have been rife abiut where he may be heading. Chelsea, PSG, Monaco, and even Barcelona have been linked in the past to the winger but it is Arsenal who appear to be the favourites to win his signature.
There is simply no logic here, especially considering the Gunners will not be in the Champions League next season. Mahrez has made no secret that Champions League football is where he wants to be at, so why is he being linked to Arsenal?
Wenger confirmed his interest in Mahrez in an interview with beIN Sports but said that a bid hadn’t been made just yet, as his famous grin stretched across his face.
Of course, Arsenal are a hugely more attractive club to play for than Leicester. They play superb football and at the Emirates, he would be less tightly marked.
Mahrez has endured a tough season with the Foxes with the Algerian unable to showcase his dazzling skills and dribbles due to being marked by two, sometimes three opponents at a time. He wouldn’t have those problems at a bigger club.
But this doesn’t detract from the reality that the North London side only have Europa League football to compete for on the continent, and there are no guarantees they will be back with the elite the following season.
Most Leicester fans will not resent Mahrez’s decision to leave. Four years is a long time in football and he has earned himself a big move, despite questions of his commitment to the Foxes over the last season.
A move to Arsenal will not go down with Leicester fans and it would be a transfer that makes little sense. Last summer, Arsenal tried to poach Jamie Vardy away but the English striker rejected the move and maybe Mahrez will do the same.
But there was some confidence displayed by Wenger in the interview that made us all believe he knew something we didn’t.
If Riyad Mahrez is on his way to the Emirates, it will certainly be a controversial decision.