This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has turned out since being signed/sold and using statistical figures and statements from key figures to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
It took a while to materialise, but Riyad Mahrez’s £60m transfer to Manchester City has been worth the wait.
With the Algerian handing in a transfer request to seal a move away from Leicester City in the months prior to his move to the Etihad Stadium, the 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year’s belated switch to Manchester may finally be paying dividends.
Mahrez capped a remarkable debut campaign at City by securing a domestic treble – achieving a second Premier League winners’ medal in the process – scoring in the game which ensured Pep Guardiola’s men repeated their 2018 success as they became the first team in a decade to do so.
However, despite City’s heavy outlay on a player they clearly had their eye on for some time, the statistics may suggest they overpaid for a winger that only started 28 of his 44 games in his first campaign.
Mahrez contributed among the least compared to his other attacking colleagues at Manchester City, with Kevin De Bruyne the only senior City midfielder to provide fewer goals and assists in an injury-hit campaign for the Belgian.
Perhaps as a result, Mahrez’s market value on TransferMarkt has remained below the circa-£60m transfer fee that City paid for his services.
However, when considering Mahrez made substantially fewer appearances and starts than some of his teammates, there is an argument to suggest his numbers (24 goal involvements) in his maiden City season were better than the likes of Bernardo Silva (27 in 51 appearances) or maybe even Leroy Sane (34 in 47).
In the absence of Sane, Mahrez has started the current campaign with a combined nine goals and assists – only the free-scoring Sergio Aguero and frequent assists provider De Bruyne have more so far this term.
Given that the likes of Silva and Sane both have market values of £90m, it could be argued that Mahrez’s performances have gone slightly undervalued – or that the African Cup of Nations winner is performing above his expected standard.
Either way, that would surely regard the hefty sum City paid for him as money well spent, as he has continued to perform following his big move to the champions.
Manchester City fans, should Mahrez get more recognition? How much is he worth right now? Let us know in the comments below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!