There has been plenty of conversation regarding Riyad Mahrez’s future at Leicester City over the past few seasons, and yet he remains at the Foxes. 
Last summer it was expected that the 26 year old was to leave Leicester for one of Chelsea or Arsenal, as he remained in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for his phone to ring and be told the good news.

However, that call never came and Mahrez has still been playing for Leicester for the first half of the season. With only a week left of the transfer window, it looks unlikely that the Algerian is going to move this January and will have to wait once again for his breakthrough. 

Mahrez is one of the most deserving players in the Premier League who belong in the group of clubs outside of the top six to be transferred to a European club. While he did make his stamp in the Champions League last season with Leicester, he should be aiming to compete in Europe’s top tier competition with consistency. 

In Leicester’s title-winning season, Mahrez contributed to 28 goals in 37 appearances - an absolutely remarkable tally for a player who had only been in England one season previous. 

While his assist and goal record slowed down last season, the Algerian has picked them up again this season and has already matched his eight goals scored in last year’s campaign. 

Mahrez takes 2.2 shots per-90 minutes, which ranks him inside the top 20 players in the Premier League for that particular statistic. Bearing in mind he is not a centre forward, that is some achievement and says how willing he is to go for goal. 

The former Le Havre player is a risk taker and does not shy away from thrashing his left boot through the ball, as seen on many an occasion. While he does miss chances and squander golden opportunities, Mahrez does make it up for it with his work rate and imaginative style of football.

What is so alluring about Mahrez is his ability to trick defenders into committing to him when he has the ball at his feet. As soon as he senses his opposite man is about to lunge in and try to dispossess him, he nudges it the other way and glides around them, making it look ridiculously easy and effortless. 

The Algerian international is a true edge-of-your-seat player; he contains the unexpectedness trait that is found in some of the best forwards in the game. When you do not know what is going to happen next, you pay closer attention. That is exactly what Mahrez is - a total enigma when dribbling with the ball down the wing.

In a way, Mahrez is a silent assassin with how he punishes teams. While he does a lot of hard graft down the wing, five of his eight goals this season have actually come inside the penalty area. Along with that, three of his seven assists have, too, been situated there. 


It shows the Algerian’s impeccable movement to evade his marker within a split-second to create the space for himself to either take the shot on, or to look up and thread the ball that is needed to be played in order to score. Mahrez is a very unselfish player and will, more often than not, pick the right decision.
There has been questions over Mahrez’s consistency, which is a fair point, but some of that can boil down the his frustration that he has not moved on to bigger and better things. That is not an excuse, but any player would be disappointed that things have not worked out the way he envisaged they might after winning the Premier League title. 

Mahrez has predominantly played as a right midfielder, helping out with defensive duties in Leicester’s solid formation, but the best part of his game is easily his ability to mystify defenders when dribbling. 

He completes 2.2 successful dribbles per-game, the joint-14th best in the Premier League, and is fouled 1.5 times per 90 minutes, which says that he gets past his marker and is then hacked down before an attack materialises too far.
Leicester are holding out for around £50m, a price that seems hefty but is probably a fair amount in this current economic climate. Arsenal and Tottenham are on the look out for wide players, with Malcom and David Neres being touted as targets, but they should both be looking at Mahrez as a player who can elevate both clubs.

The Algerian turns 27 in February and it would be a shame if he did not get his rightful move into a club that can offer European football. As shown last season, Mahrez can be a handful in both the Champions League as well as domestic competition. 

This article was written by Liam Canning for Soccer Box. We are an online retailer specialising in official football merchandise for a vast range of teams including Leicester City