Riding on the back of a successful 2015/2016 season in which Leicester City shocked the world, defying all odds to win the English Premier League title, Riyad Mahrez was one of the standout performances if not the main man per se.
Mahrez won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award – the first African to have won the award, and also was one of the nominees for the Ballon D’or. Such was the success of the Algerian international who was the toast of the media at that time and it brought the public opprobrium upon him. Clubs began to circle of which Arsenal were in the attendance and were strongly linked with a move for the star attacker.
There was no how we could get him at that time. Claudio Ranieri felt keeping the core of his team would earn him another EPL title but unfortunately he lost N’Golo Kante to Chelsea, therein laid the beginning of their problems, as they, at one point, were battling in the relegation but eventually finished 12th on the EPL Log.
Truth be told, we never needed Mahrez. Not with a Mesut Ozil in our attack or the exciting ambidextrous Santi Cazorla in the midfield. However, the following season saw Cazorla suffer a knee setback in October, which saw him crying as he hopped out of the UEFA Champions League game against Ludogorets Razgrad. We never thought he would stay close to a year on the sidelines or we would suffer creatively either.
However, to say we had a dismal EPL season is an understatement, since we suffered our worst campaign in over 10 years and the reason for this is not far fetched: We sorely missed Cazorla since the likes of Aaron Ramsey nor Oxlade-Chamberlain could not step up to the plate.
There are rumours that Cazorla has suffered yet another setback, but he has swiftly debunked such rumours. However, the need to sign an understudy to him cannot be overly emphasised, knowing full well that Wenger is bound to play him cautiously when he is fully fit and that he could yet suffer another relapse over the course of next season.
Now is the time to make a move for Mahrez who back to planet earth after his fairy tale experience last summer. That is not to say he has not the classy touch but Leicester City now know where they belong, hence he won’t cost an arm and a leg
You can imagine how Arsenal’s attack will look like with Mahrez on right, Sanchez on the left, Lacazette at the centre and chief orchestrator Mesut Ozil behind them.