Speculation is mounting that Manchester United are set to move for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez this summer. The Old Trafford club are once again rumoured to spend close to £300million as they aim to compete with Manchester City and the incoming Pep Guardiola.
According to the Manchester Evening News (via Metro), Mahrez is high on the list of potential targets at United. The Algerian has scored 14 goals and waded in with 10 assists, this term, and he is exactly the type of player Manchester United are crying out for.
Despite this, some United fans feel the club should be aiming higher – for a Gareth Bale, Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo-esque addition.
At 24 years of age Mahrez would be an ideal signing for LVG or Jose Mourinho, or whoever will be in the dugout come the start of next season. United have spent too many transfer windows chasing players they have no chance of getting. Last summer saw them chase Sergio Ramos when it never looked likely that he would come, while January came and went without any movement – or not even any near completion of any transfers.
Manchester United need a reality check – they are no longer the big boys – and they are no longer the club everybody wants to join.
Sure, they have history. The history of United will always play a part in a player wanting to move to Old Trafford. However, Liverpool, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest also have history, yet remain down the pecking order when top players are on the move.
Leicester City have shown you don’t need to have a world class squad full of magnificent players to succeed. You need players who will roll up their sleeves and work for the team. Mahrez came from the second division in France to top of the league with Leicester City.
Manchester United need to stop throwing money at the problem, take a step back a realise there are players out there who can do just as good a job as the big players they have no hope of getting are doing.
The signing of Angel Di Maria is a great example of this. They signed a player who never looked like he wanted to be there, upset at having to leave Real Madrid against his will. Sure he played out of position on occasion, but he showed little desire to succeed at United.
Some fans might think Mahrez is not of ‘United standard’ – whatever that is anymore. I’d rather a Mahrez in my side than a player with a hefty price tag who would rather be anywhere else.
Manchester United face a huge summer ahead with questions to be answered not just in the dugout but also on the pitch.
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