It’s offical: Manchester City have completed their first major deal of the summer and finally put the Riyad Mahrez rumours to bed. The club have confirmed Mahrez’s arrival via their official channels and City supporters can finally look forward to seeing the Algerian ace at the Etihad Stadium next season.
The club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has previously emphasised City’s need to bring quality, rather than quantity to the club this summer, so the fact they have chosen to sign Mahrez speaks volumes about how highly he is regarded by Pep Guardiola.
His arrival will add an extra layer of class to Guardiola’s attacking options and enable him to effectively deal with potential injury concerns which will naturally emerge as the season develops.
Raheem Sterling will relish the arrival of Mahrez as the extra competition for places should force him to step up yet another level next season. There’s no doubt that his place in the first-team will be under threat with Mahrez in the squad as the pair battle it out for a place on the right-wing, but with City looking to compete for four trophies there is no doubt they will both have significant roles to play.
However, the same cannot be said for Brahim Diaz, as Mahrez will push him further down the pecking order next season. The 18-year-old was handed a handful of opportunities to impress in the first-team last season, largely as a substitute, and he impressed with his willingness to take risks in possession of the ball despite his age.
He clearly has some improving to with his decision making and composure in promising situations, and a loan move to Leeds United could well be the right step for him to take in that regard.
Pep Guardiola’s relationship with Marcelo Bielsa would not only put Leeds in pole position to sign him on loan, it would also make plenty of sense for City’s manager as he would be able to closely monitor his progress through regular and detailed updates from Bielsa.
Diaz is unproven at senior level so it’s difficult to know what to expect from him away from the comfort of Man City, but he needs regular first-team football in order to catalyse his development, and Leeds could represent the perfect place for him to do that in light of the Mahrez deal.
Leeds fans – thoughts? Let us know below!