Follow It's Round and It's White on Facebook

Has Riyad Mahrez blown his chance of a move to a European giant?

Monday 15th May 2017
Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez is reportedly considering his future at the King Power Stadium, with a number of suitors allegedly keen on matching his £30m asking price this summer.

The Algerian international rose to prominence after being named PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Player of the Year for scoring and creating 29 goals in 37 Premier League games as he led the Foxes to the league title in 2015/16.

However, Mahrez's stock has diminished with his inconsistent form this season and as a result, clubs may not deem him worth the gamble.

Mahrez's Premier League record may not convince elite clubs

The former AC Le Havre man has played his third season in the Premier League, scoring and assisting nine goals in 34 games. In fact, his maiden top-flight campaign with Leicester City resulted in a similar output. 2015/16 was a freak season when looking at the numbers. Mahrez's overall career record suggests he may not be capable of producing top form on a regular basis for elite clubs to consider signing him.

Mahrez's Premier League record

2014/15: 30 appearances, four goals, three assists

2015/16: 37 appearances, 17 goals, 11 assists

2016/17: 34 appearances, six goals, three assists

Mahrez's Championship record

2013/14: 19 appearances, three goals, four assists

Decision-making needs improvement

A big factor that may see the top European sides overlook Mahrez is his wastefulness in possession. The left-footed right winger is guilty of overplaying and holding onto the ball for too long, while often taking on players rather than finding a teammate in a better position. This season, Mahrez has made the second-most unsuccessful dribbles in the Premier League (85), while making 60 unsuccessful touches and being dispossessed 56 times. He's completed only 13% of his 142 crosses this season too.

That's not to say he's not an effective forward, averaging a created chance or shot on target every 37 minutes, but his efforts aren't leading to enough goals. A transfer fee of £30m certainly isn't going to break the bank of the big clubs this summer, which could work in his favour. However, until Mahrez shows development on the pitch to make the right decision more often than not, he may be resigned to another season at the King Power.

Only one way for his career to go staying at Leicester

Leicester City isn't in any rush to cash in on the player given he still has three years to run on his deal, but Mahrez recently revealed he sought an exit last summer when his stock was sky-high after winning the Premier League title. The likes of Barcelona and Arsenal were then linked with his signature, but his toils in 2016/17 might see the top clubs in Europe looking elsewhere. The former AC Le Havre winger will have suitors but they may be from sides outside of the elite bracket.

Mahrez will have seen how N'Golo Kante's career has flourished after leaving Leicester and how Jamie Vardy's stock has diminished by turning down summer interest to stay with the Foxes. The Midlands club will undergo a transition period in the summer with a number of ageing stars likely to be moved on, which could mean another season of domestic struggle to come.

Has Riyad Mahrez blown his chance of a big move?
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 318

Latest Opinion Articles