Three reasons Arsenal shouldn’t sign Riyad Mahrez
Arsenal have been linked with Riyad Mahrez but does Arsene Wenger really need the Leicester playmaker?
Do Arsenal really need him?
When most former Arsenal players are asked what position Arsene Wenger needs to strengthen to win the Premier League title, their response is an intimidating midfielder in the mould of Patrick Vieira and a world-class centre-forward. Arsenal already have attacking midfielders capable of producing deft touches and incisive passes in abundance. With Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez commanding starting spots behind the main striker, Wenger can also use Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck (when fit) in an advanced role. While Mahrez would of course improve Arsenal, his addition wouldn’t push the Gunners significantly closer to the title.
Wasted transfer funds
It’s no secret that Wenger is a frugal operator when it comes to delving into the Arsenal transfer kitty. The Gunners boss has shown signs of change in recent seasons following big-money signings such as Granit Xhaka, Ozil and Sanchez. Mahrez is reported to be valued in the region of £25-30m. Tying into the previous point, it would seem very un-Wenger like to spend big to address a position which really doesn’t need drastic improvement. Using the funds towards a world-class goal-scorer would be much more welcome and undoubtedly edge Arsenal closer to a first title since 2004.
Can Mahrez recreate the magic?
Mahrez was a deserved winner of the PFA player of the year award last season after his 17 goals and 11 assists proved crucial in the Leicester City fairytale. However, the Algeria international may struggle to catch out Premier League defences as frequently this term. By Claudio Ranieri’s own admission during the 2015/16 Premier League term, Mahrez had to make adjustments to his game after being worked out by opponents in the middle of the season. Furthermore, Leicester deployed a counter-attacking strategy which allowed Mahrez to work in space but Arsenal are a possession-based team which would require further alteration.