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17/12/2022 | 07:20 a.m
Pep Guardiola will no doubt be planning ahead for Manchester City’s January transfer window, and the Spaniard could consider selling Riyad Mahrez as the Algerian is no longer good enough to be a regular for the Premier League champions .
The 31-year-old winger joined Man City from Leicester in 2018 in a deal worth £60m and has been an integral part of the Citizens’ success over the past five years.
In total, the speedy Mahrez has made 206 appearances for the Cityzens, contributing 67 goals and 47 assists in that time, but his form so far this term suggests he won’t add too much more to that tally.
The 31-year-old has just one goal in nine Premier League appearances, with WhoScored handing him a disappointing 6.57 rating for his performances in the top flight.
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Last season he scored 11 goals and provided five assists in 26 La Liga appearances, averaging a far more impressive 7.00, suggesting Mahrez’s decline has been swift and unfortunate for Guardiola and City.
While the Algerian has two goals in the Champions League, one came from the penalty spot in the 5-0 win against Copenhagen. He was guilty of missing two penalties in the draws at Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund, which could easily have cost the Cityzens top spot in the group.
The arrivals of Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and, to some extent, Jack Grealish have limited Mahrez’s opportunities in Guardiola’s side so far this season, having started just four times in the league, and it seems unlikely be usual in the second half of the match. campaign
This is especially the case when you compare his poor form with Phil Foden, who has seven goals and three assists in the Premier League this season.
There is no doubt that in his prime Mahrez was one of the most exciting players in the world, as former City midfielder Michael Brown highlighted in 2018 when he said: “In tight areas he’s great, but if there is room there. for him, he can cut left or right, he likes to go inside. Once he’s in the box, you can’t get close to him with that late rib he’s got.
“I wouldn’t want to play against him! He’s got so much skill and sometimes you can’t play him.”
However, it seems clear that Mahrez has lost some lethality with age and is no longer the player he used to be. With his contract at the Etihad Stadium set to expire in 2025, City would be better off cashing in on the Algeria international in January while he still retains some value.