Riyad Mahrez could reportedly be on his way to join Chelsea, despite Leicester City’s initial hesitation in letting him leave
According to a report by The Sun, Chelsea are set to complete a £45 million move for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian, who has been an Arsenal target for months, is believed to have left his national team duties in order to finalize his transfer to Chelsea.
Mahrez played a key role in Leicester City’s fairytale title win in 2016, scoring 18 goals across all competitions. However, that number dropped to 10 last season as the Foxes started struggling under Claudio Ranieri which ultimately cost the Italian manager his job.
Under new manager Craig Shakespeare, both Leicester City and Mahrez improved gradually and the Algerian will be looking to join a club that can provide a bigger stage and better chances at playing regular Champions League football.
Mahrez does have a reputation of playing on the right side of Leicester’s midfield. His skills on the ball, his ability to beat players inside and outside, and his classy technique has truly turned him into a quality winger – one that might be on his way to play for the reigning Premier League champions.
Antonio Conte knows he needs to add more depth to his squad. The Blues might even be called ‘lucky’, since they managed to avoid serious injuries in their title-winning campaign last season. This time, however, things are different and defending the scintillating Premier League trophy certainly won’t be a walk in the park.
Add to that the fact that they are back in the Champions League, and it is quite evident that they need to procure quality players to the squad. Hence, the Algerian midfielder can prove to be an asset for Chelsea if he does make the switch to move to Stamford Bridge.
Mahrez won’t just be making up the numbers at Chelsea – he will instead adapt to playing a better role. The Blues are currently a bit short on wingers, with only the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro available as options. Hazard is prone to missing major portions of the season with injuries.
That leaves Pedro – a player who has been struggling to find his form – and Willian. The Brazilian winger has been used further forward this season, leaving a window of opportunity for Mahrez since it will give him a shot at making one of the wide positions truly his.