Roma supporters will have been disappointed to hear the news of Mohamed Salah’s departure to join Premier League side, Liverpool, last month. Salah was one of Roma’s key figures in Serie A last season as he scored 15 goals in the 31 league appearances he made from a wide position.
However, despite his evident quality, Salah is not irreplaceable for the Italian outfit. One player the club have been linked with is 26-year-old Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez. There is no doubt that Mahrez would be a quality replacement for Salah and is likely to be a player who would flourish in Serie A.
Mahrez was a key part of the Leicester side that made history by winning the Premier League title in the 2015/16 campaign. He scored 17 goals in the 37 league appearances he made that season for Leicester.
The recently concluded season was not as successful for Leicester as they finished in mid-table and it was also not as good a season for Mahrez personally. He only scored six goals in the 36 league appearances he made this time round.
After getting a taste for the UEFA Champions League with Leicester last season, Mahrez may feel it is time to move on in his career and join another club that can almost guarantee him European football every season. He stood out as one of Leicester’s star players in the competition last season as he found the back of the net four times in the nine appearances he made in Europe as he helped the Foxes progress remarkably far.
All of the signals coming out of Leicester at the moment suggest that the winger may be allowed to leave the club this summer but only at the right price. Roma have reportedly made a bid of £30 million plus add-ons for Mahrez and believe that this is not far from being enough to secure his services.
However, Leicester are still holding firm at the minute with a significantly higher valuation of £50 million in mind. It would not be a surprise to eventually see the two clubs agree on a deal for the winger.
Roma do have other wide options such as Juan Iturbe, Diego Perotti and Stephan El Shaarawy at their disposal but a void has undoubtedly been left by Salah’s departure. They need to add another winger to their squad ahead of the upcoming campaign to add some depth in case of injuries, suspensions and other potential issues.
Mahrez has the potential to be just as effective, if not more effective than Salah was last season. At 26-years-old, Mahrez is only one year older than Salah and therefore has just as much time to improve his game as the outgoing Egyptian.
Mahrez would arguably be playing with better players at Roma to those he has been playing with at Leicester and this may allow him to flourish and play at his full potential once again next season.
It will be interesting to see how this deal progresses throughout the transfer window, as it has the potential to turn into a saga if not completed soon. However, there is no doubt that Roma would be getting a superb replacement for Salah if they could secure Mahrez’s signature this summer.