Forget Mahrez: Man City’s ace in the hole can now light up the Etihad

The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern were firmly divided over the potential signing of Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez on January deadline day.

Leroy Sane collected an unfortunate injury during City’s 4th round FA Cup tie with Cardiff City last weekend following a dangerous challenge from Joe Bennett. Whether malice was intended or not, Bennett was culpable of a really distasteful challenge on Sane as the German international steamrolled down the pitch towards Cardiff’s goal, and his tackle has left Sane out with ligament damage that’s set to leave him sidelined for up to 6 weeks.

Sane’s injury news appeared to spark a moment of panic amongst the City hierarchy as they continue their quest to claim a historic quadruple this season, and their panic ultimately equated to a late attempt to lure Riyad Mahrez away from The Foxes.

According to reports from The Guardian, City eventually abandoned their pursuit due to Leicester City’s extortionate asking price, which was probably for the best considering the abundance of talent that is available to Guardiola.

One player who could significantly benefit from City’s failure to sign Mahrez is their academy product Brahim Diaz. Diaz has looked mightily confident within his handful of cameo appearances for the club so far, and the early signs are there to suggest he’s destined for a bright future at The Etihad.

The 18-year-old Spaniard’s low-centre of gravity combined with his rapid feet and fearless attitude make him a frightening prospect for opponents. Diaz still has plenty of work to do on improving his decision making and end-product, but that is to be expected from a player of his age.

It’s a real breath of fresh air to see a player who has come through the ranks be given a chance at City who have been so reliant on big-money signings in recent years, and their failure to land Mahrez may just prove to be a real turning point in Diaz’s career in Manchester.

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