The Lowdown: Out of favour
Having slightly fallen down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order, the 31-year-old finished in 12th place in this year’s Ballon d’Or awards, and will no doubt be keen to get back out onto the Etihad pitch as soon as possible to show what he can do.
The Latest: Campbell’s support for Mahrez
Asked by Football Insider whether Mahrez not starting games more frequently was a surprise, Campbell said:
“It is a slight surprise but he is coming off the bench a lot.
“We tend to see him more in the second half of the season.
“Mahrez is a quality player. He will get his games this season. It is just a case of when you get them with Pep Guardiola.
“If Mahrez was upset with his game time he would address the situation, I’m sure. I do not think he feels that way though. Sometimes you don’t get picked, that is the reality of football.
“Mahrez needs to prove his worth on the training ground. Managers want players that are hungry.
“Mahrez will get his game time. Listen, how are the rich ever going to survive? It is embarrassing how many good players they have got.”
The Verdict: Deserves an opportunity
City haven’t been giving Mahrez a fair run in the team, and it’s what he deserves given his previous track record in the final third.
The winger has clocked up a remarkable 112 goal contributions in 202 appearances for the Sky Blues, and already has a goal and assist to his name in just four Champions League outings this term (WhoScored).
Guardiola will need squad depth with the increased amount of fixtures after the World Cup break, and that could provide Mahrez with the perfect opportunity to stake his claim in the starting XI.