The Leicester City fans in the Transfer Tavern are resigned to losing Riyad Mahrez this summer, despite the ongoing saga which is showing no sign of reaching a conclusion anytime soon, and recent reports have given them reason to believe Claude Puel is lining up a move for a brilliant replacement.
Leicester’s Algerian ace has been an instrumental figurehead in Leicester’s success in recent years, particularly during their famous title victory in the 2015/16 season when he was simply uncontainable. Mahrez has not quite reached the heights of that special season in the campaigns which have followed and, with his head seemingly half way to Manchester, it feels like the right time for him to embark on a new challenge.
Claude Puel will naturally be disappointed to lose a key player this summer, but if the hierarchy are able to generate £75 million from a potential deal then they won’t have too many complaints. Following Mahrez’s departure, the French manager will have a huge task on his hands in replacing him, but recent reports from ESPN have given our resident Foxes genuine reason to believe that their club will not be any weaker in a post-Mahrez era.
According to the report, Leicester are monitoring the situation of Mohamed Elyounoussi whom they view as a perfect candidate to replace Mahrez at the King Power next season. On paper, the 23-year-old attacking midfield looks like an immensely talented footballer who could thrive in the Premier League, so Leicester’s interest is certainly well placed.
Elyounoussi’s record in the Swiss Super League with FC Basel was verging on frightening last season: 13 goals and 17 assists from 44 appearances in all-competitions tells you all you need to know about Leicester’s latest target. Perhaps the greatest indicator of Elyounoussi’s potential to blossom in the Premier League arrived at the Etihad Stadium in March earlier this year where he took Man City to the sword with a goal and an assist to hand the travelling Swiss outfit an unlikely 2-1 victory.
The Norway international really showcased his talent that night and gave Danilo a torrid time all evening long with his direct style of dribbling and tendency to drift in from the touchline.
Of course, Elyounoussi is far from the finished article, but neither was Mahrez when he first arrived at Leicester, so the Foxes must do everything in their power to fend off reported competition from Bayer Leverkusen and secure the services of a perfect replacement for the Algerian this summer.
Leicester City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!