Riyad Mahrez is the stand out player of the season so far. With five goals in six games he has a better strike rate than Lionel Messi, who has only managed to find the net five times in eight games for Barcelona so far this season.
Mahrez and Leicester City finished last year very strongly, and it seems both club and player have carried their form into the new season. However, no one could have predicted the brilliance of Mahrez’s performances so far. Despite the setback of a 2-2 draw away to Stoke, Leicester are still very much in the title race.
If you haven’t already, then get him in your fantasy football teams! Mahrez is still a bargain at 6.4m, which is a 0.9 increase on his original value at the start of the season. This rise in notoriety hasn’t escaped the real life teams of the Premier League as well. Arsenal are the front-runners in the race for his signature in January, but I believe Mahrez can do better than the underachieving Gunners.
Given the comparison in stats between Mahrez and Messi, surely there is a case that Mahrez is performing better on current form. With an inferior squad, Mahrez has guided Leicester City to second place this season, which is the position FC Barcelona currently occupy in La Liga.
To say that Mahrez is better than Messi is nonsensical, the Algerian has been dazzling for a mere six weeks, whereas Messi has been the world’s best player for six years.
Although it is not irrational to say that Mahrez is too good to play for Arsenal. The Gunners have failed to prove they can challenge for the title so far this season, and as it stands the Foxes have an equal chance of winning the FA Cup. So unless the real big guns come calling, I suggest that Mahrez stays put.
I will not be surprised to see Barcelona come in with a big money offer at the end of the season, if Mahrez continues this sort of form. When you consider the value of Raheem Sterling or Kevin De Bruyne, then surely Mahrez is worth investing in.
As for the Algerian’s legacy at Leicester City, the little magician has to be one of the club’s greatest ever players. Having guided them to promotion, ensuring survival and now leading their chase for European football. It is amazing to think that Mahrez only cost Leicester £350k, but then again Messi was signed for nothing.
In the near future I hope to see Mahrez graduate from Leicester and join Barcelona, as City favourite Gary Lineker once did. Only then will we see the two greatest bargains in modern day football combine for the first time – M & M, Messi and Mahrez.