Manchester City’s title-march was hardly under any doubt this season but next season might not be so straightforward. Last summer, Pep Guardiola made sure that City had the ideal squad to challenge for the League title and his team did more than that as they were dominant in their run to the title and could finish the season with 100 points should they win their last game of the season against Southampton.
There aren’t too many areas where the squad lacks in depth, to be honest. Maybe Guardiola will be keen on signing another holding midfielder and a fullback, but barring that, the squad is pretty balanced and settled. One name linked with the club of late is Riyad Mahrez. That’s right, the side wanted to sign him last winter but Leicester City played hardball and in the end, the deal couldn’t be completed in time.
Manchester City are likely to return for him in the coming months according to reports. Bernardo Silva, after a slow start, has managed to turn heads but Guardiola isn’t going to stop there. City offered £65 million for the winger back then but Leicester wanted £95 million. So I’m presuming the figure will be somewhere between the two aforementioned fees.
Mahrez – Fact file
Leicester had a slow start to their campaign under Craig Shakespeare which led the club to sack him and put Claude Puel in charge of the club. Puel hasn’t done too shabbily as the side are in the top 10. The Frenchman’s pragmatic style of play has worked well at the club considering the players they have.
Mahrez has been a key performer for the side with his 11 goals and eight assists. Leicester are known for their counter-attacking approach and the duo of Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are hard to stop during the transition. But Mahrez has also shown this season that he can adapt his game and play in a side who see more of the ball.
His passing still needs a bit of work but barring that, he’s the finished article that’ll only add more potency to the City attack.
How will he fit in?
There’s not much there to fix in the current City line up, to be honest. The wide players — Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane — have been brilliant this season but Sterling can improve his decision making and finishing which has let him down this season. I know it’s a hit harsh considering he has scored 18 goals himself, but because City have just scored so many this season, his misses have sort of gone under the radar and haven’t really affected the team.
Mahrez will put more pressure on Sterling and Silva as he’ll be vying for a starting role. His trickery and ability to beat a player makes him stand out and boy will the City attack be hard to stop if they can sign him.