Leicester Made Smart Decision With Mahrez
DATE: 09.02.2018 - THE CUNNING FOX - BLOG
managed to cling on to one of their prized assets, fending off
interest from Manchester City for Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian was the
subject of three bids from the Premier League leaders, but the
offers from Pep Guardiola’s men failed to meet the valuation.
As a result, Claude Puel gets to keep one of
his key men, although the 26-year-old has revealed that he has been
made depressed by the inability to secure a move to the Etihad
Mahrez has been continually linked with a move away from the
Midlands outfit since his breakout campaign when he helped guide the
Foxes to the Premier League crown. The 26-year-old has played an
essential part of pulling the club away from the drop zone after
their stuttering start to the term.
It’s a sign of the progress the Foxes have made in their time under
Puel’s management that they are backed at
500/1 in the football betting odds to be relegated from the top
Source: Sky Sports News via
The Foxes have relied on Mahrez and Vardy for
their success in the final third. Leicester have been active in the
transfer market since winning the Premier League, but few of their
big money transfers have hit.
Islam Slimani and
Kelechi Iheanacho have both failed to force their way into selection,
despite both being bought for fees surpassing the £25m mark. The
former has since moved on loan to Newcastle United, highlighting the
difficulties Leicester have endured finding a complement to Mahrez
Shinji Okazaki has offered a semblance of relief for the duo,
finding the net six times in the top flight. Demarai Gray has been
up-and-down, but has still been a valuable contributor at times
notching three goals over the course of the campaign.
His form has dipped since the turn of the year, which played a
significant role in the Foxes’ decision to retain the services of
Source: Indy Football via
Leicester were more-or-less in a no-win situation with Mahrez. Had
they allowed the winger to leave, Puel’s options in the final third
would be down to Vardy, Okazaki, Gray and Iheanacho.
It would have heaped a huge amount of pressure on
Vardy to maintain a high level of form, with opposing teams
focusing solely on stopping him through the middle.
The 31-year-old has scored 11 goals in the
Premier League and has played well, but could not be expected to
carry the burden until the end of the campaign.
Puel also had little time to sign a replacement, with few options
available so late in the transfer window. Leicester have not had a
good history of significant investments in the market – therefore
there would be no guarantee that any player attempting to fill the
shoes of Mahrez would have the same impact of the Algerian until the
end of the season.
Leicester still have plenty to play for and although they’re almost
guaranteed to avoid the drop, the club will still be aiming to
finish as high as possible in the Premier League. Therefore keeping
Mahrez was the only option for Puel and the Foxes’ hierarchy.
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