Leicester City are currently a team in disarray, the dizzy heights they reached a few years ago are a distant memory, and the Foxes are now staring down the daunting barrel of relegation this season. Six games in a row without a win have left Leicester in 18th place with only 6 points.
With such form, it’s not a surprise that the board gave Craig Shakespeare his marching papers. The Englishman’s last game in charge was a 1-1 home draw with West Brom. Ironically enough it was Riyad Mahrez who equalised for the Foxes to help rescue a point. This further highlights the point that the Algerian is too good for his current employers.
Here’s why Arsenal should sign Riyad Mahrez in January.
Arsenal have tried to sign the Algerian on several occasions, but the Foxes’ £40million price tag put an end to negotiations. The Gunners made contact with Leicester for him for the past two summers, to no avail. However, the upcoming January window may present Arsène Wenger with his best chance yet.
It’s no secret that the Arsenal manager is a long-time admirer of the 26-year-old, claiming he’s had his eye on the winger since his days at Ligue 2 club, Le Havre. It’s clear that Mahrez possesses all the traits Arsène Wenger seeks in an attacking forward. Mahrez is skilful, has good close control and is decisive in the final third.
Wenger needs players who want to play football the beautiful way while also being ruthless in their approach. That’s what made Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp such huge successes; they were skilful but productive too.
With both Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez seemingly set for the exit door, the signing of Riyad Mahrez couldn’t come any quicker. The star duo could even be leaving in January as the two Manchester clubs look to swoop in. So for Arsenal, Mahrez would offer the fans a tiny bit of reprieve from the monumental losses.
From the point of view of Riyad Mahrez, there’s no reason as to why he wouldn’t want to sign for the Gunners. They’re one of the most famous teams in not only England but the world. They’re a big club on the verge of breaking back into the top four and are managed by the world famous Arsène Wenger. For Mahrez, the signing ticks all the boxes and most importantly, Arsène Wenger would improve him as an attacking threat.
At Leicester City, he has only known one style of play, counter-attacking football. At the Emirates, Mahrez would be able to put his close control to good effect as Wenger’s philosophy hinges on passing combinations in tight spaces. At the King Power Stadium he’s also stagnated from a productivity perspective, last season he only scored 6 goals and produced 3 assists. This pales in comparison to the 17 goals and 11 assists he produced in the 2015/16 title-winning season.
Arsenal and Arsène Wenger could take him back to those heights, and he could become what he always wanted to be, the star man of a big team.