The 2017 summer window comes to an end on the 31st of August at 11 pm, with that, all the incessant rumours and speculation will cease to exist until January. One of the biggest rumours of not only this summer but the whole calendar year has been Riyad Mahrez’s pending move to the Emirates.
Arsène Wenger on many occasions has expressed his admiration of the Algerian; however, Leicester’s firm stance over the player’s fee has been a huge stumbling block. Regardless of the price, Arsenal must now make the 26-year old a priority in the next two weeks.
Here are five reasons why Arsenal should sign Mahrez before the transfer window closes.
Ever since the reality of not signing Kylian Mbappé sunk in, Arsenal have turned their attention towards landing Thomas Lemar. However, the price being quoted for the Frenchman is in the region of £80m, a fee that would pinpoint how ridiculous modern football is.
Leicester City are asking for a more reasonable fee for Mahrez, around £40m. That allows Arsenal to save approximately £30m, funds they can push towards signing a backup CB.
It would appease the fans
A 4-3 thriller against Leicester City (what a coincidence) was enough to distract Arsenal fans from the deficiencies in the squad for a weekend. Now it’s a new week and fans are eagerly awaiting what the club will do in the remaining weeks of the window.
The signing of the 2015/16 Player of the Year would go a long way in putting the fans’ minds at rest. It’d reassure them they have enough goalscoring flair and creativity to mount a serious title challenge, for once.
Last season, Arsenal scored the least amount of goals of anyone in the top five; subsequently, they finished 5th. Goals win titles and goalscorers shape the fortunes of a team.
The addition of Riyad Mahrez adds a guaranteed ten goals and ten assists to Arsenal’s tally. On top of that, the Algerian would contribute creatively to Arsenal’s build-up play, leading to more goals.
In 36 PL apps, Mahrez created 50 chances in a Leicester team that plays with limited possession, imagine what he’d do at a dominant Arsenal side.
Upgrade on Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi has done well with the opportunities given to him, but the Nigerian youngster is not good enough to be a regular feature in the Arsenal first team. The 21-year old is strong at dribbling and linking up with others, something Riyad Mahrez excels at more.
The Algerian is a more fine-tuned, professional and mature version of Iwobi. Whilst Mahrez is helping fire Arsenal to a title, Alex Iwobi can be gaining valuable experience at a lower level Premier League team, it’s win-win for all involved.
Premier League winner
Riyad Mahrez has done something that none of the ’25-man Arsenal squad’ have won – the Premier League. That title campaign may have been deemed a fluke, but the Foxes did it over 38 games and displayed a mentality of steel.
The Algerian could bring that mentality to a club that desperately needs it. Arsène Wenger’s laissez-faire attitude has infected the club from top to bottom, creating an atmosphere that allows his players to fold in times of adversity. Riyad Mahrez bucks that trend and could be the catalyst for much-needed change at the Emirates.