Arsenal are reportedly ready to reignite interest in Leicester City superstar Riyad Mahrez, with Arsene Wenger intent on reinforcing the wing.
According to Algerian publication Le Buteur, Arsenal will reignite their interest in Leicester City superstar Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian speedster has been on the radar of Arsenal and Tottenham for a while. And the Gunners now seem set to relaunch an attempt to land the winger.
It was this very publication that had reported of Riyad Mahrez being close to a switch to Arsenal on deadline day in the summer of 2016, only for the deal to not go through due to differences in valuation of the player between the clubs. One of the main reasons for Mahrez staying – Claudio Ranieri – has since departed, so has his successor, Craig Shakespeare.
Claude Puel, the new boss at King Power, seems to finally prefer giving Demarai Gray an extended run-in for the club. Mahrez has also returned to his destructive best under the former Southampton man, with a return of 6 goals and 6 assists in 20 Premier League appearances so far.
Arsenal’s need for reinforcements on the wings has become a priority for Arsene Wenger. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left the club in the summer while Alexis Sanchez seems to be heading towards the exit door. The Gunners have been linked to the likes of Leon Bailey, David Neres and Alessio Da Cruz among other more-established names.
Arsenal eye €50m Riyad Mahrez as Alexis Sanchez heads for Emirates exit pic.twitter.com/tjASVBYQXQ
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All of the aforementioned names are almost rookies, which is where the addition of Riyad Mahrez might be a better option. The 26-year-old is already well accustomed to the rigours of Premier League and has proven himself in the league time and time again.
At 26, the player would also not just be a short-term addition either. Mahrez, with his explosive nature, could ably replace Sanchez as well, if the player is to quit the club in the near future – a prospect more likely to happen than not.
The player’s return to form has increased Arsenal’s interest, with the Gunners already preparing a proposal to present to the Foxes. Leicester City’s fortunes have also improved in recent times, with the club now eighth on the Premier League table after what was a shoddy start to the season.
The move might just see the light of the day finally. Mahrez is back to his usual self, Arsenal need a winger and Puel might just use this opportunity to rebuild the squad to an extent.
Another positive thing about Mahrez’s pursuit will be his eligibility to take the field for Arsenal in the Europa League, if a deal is done in January itself. Leicester had earlier insisted on a compensation of around €50 million and we could see Arsenal finally meet their demands as the transfer window approaches.