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Could Riyad Mahrez help Man City become even better?

Daniel Anwar | 3 July 2018

Leicester star is close to joining the champions

How do you improve on the best Premier League campaign of all time? After breaking the record for most points won, most games won, most goals scored and a whole host of others, Pep Guardiola is set to strengthen his squad even further with the addition of Riyad Mahrez.

The champions have reportedly agreed a fee of around £60m for the Leicester City winger. After failing to sign him in January, City could finally have their man by the end of the week.

The Coral News Team have taken a look at where he’d fit in at the Etihad…

Improve Plan A

They say if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. It’s obvious that City’s game plan to control possession and break teams down with quick passing and movement in the final third is very effective.

Rather than introduce an alternative way of playing, Guardiola appears to be refining that plan by bringing Mahrez in. He should slot into the system very well and give the manager more options.

The Algerian has the ability to glide past defenders effortlessly to open up space. He’s got superb technique and vision too. His ability to score from distance could be very useful as well, especially against sides happy to camp in their own box.

Playing around better players in a more technical team could also help him raise his own game even further.

Versatility

City are already packed with attacking talent, which means Mahrez won’t start every week. The 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year will get plenty of chances with so many games to be played though. Where exactly he’ll play isn’t quite so certain.

City tended to play Raheem Sterling on the right last term, with Bernardo Silva filling in every now and then. If Mahrez arrives as a right winger, it could free Sterling up to take a central attacking role, something that Guardiola has occasionally flirted with.

His creativity means he could shine as a number 10, or he has the skill and speed to play as an orthodox winger on the left flank.

Right in his prime

The scary thing for many of City’s rivals is that so many of City’s players will only get better. Of their attacking options, Sterling, Silva, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus are all still 23-years-old or younger. They’ve got experienced players who’ve seen it all in David Silva and Fernandinho too.

But there’s a shortage of midfielders in their prime. Only Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan fit that category.

These should be the best years of Mahrez’s career. It’s been clear for a long time that he wanted to move to a bigger club. He’ll be determined to make the most of his opportunity.

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