According to reports this morning, Arsenal have made Riyad Mahrez their number one summer target in a major squad overhaul. Mahrez has caught the eye of the Gunners after a very impressive season scoring 11 goals and assisting 16 in 34 Premier League games. Leicester City are now on course to win their first ever Premier League title.
According to The Sun Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reportedly told close friends signing the Algerian international is his main priority this summer. It is reported Arsenal will let Theo Walcott leave as part of the squad overhaul after a somewhat disappointing season. Walcott hasn’t managed to nail down a starting position after only signing a contract last year and it looks as if Arsenal have already found his replacement.
Arsenal know they’ll have to pay a much higher fee than what Leicester City paid, with reports saying the price may be £25 million upwards to convince the Foxes in selling their main man.
The 24-year-old midfielder has 4 goals in 24 appearances for Algeria.
A number of teams are reportedly interested in Mahrez including Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Arsenal will be keen to bolster their squad this summer after a pathetic attempt at winning the title, it may be Wenger’s last year and am sure he would want to leave on a high.
Arsene Wenger admitted he had never heard of Mahrez when Leicester City brought him for just £400,000 in January 2014 from French Ligue 2 club Le Havre. But he did admit how well he has developed.
“I didn’t know him honestly, he played in the second division in France,” Wenger said. “He has developed extremely well; today he is one of the dominant players in the Premier League.”
Straight away a stat that really impresses me is the goals scored by Mahrez, Arsenal have struggled to find the net frequently this season and Mahrez scores a very impressive 0.54 goals per 90 minutes, that beats off any one of Arsenal’s current wingers with Walcott second 0.34, Campbell third 0.31 and Chamberlain last 0.10. Arsenal haven’t come short of creating chances this season but Mahrez would once again increase the number of chances created. Although Chamberlain scores a very impressive 1.83 Mahrez is just behind on 1.64, Walcott and Campbell are third and fourth with 1.16 and the latter 1.13. Although Mesut Ozil is the leading player for total assists this season, Mahrez has also been incredible on that front assisting 0.37. Campbell is second with 0.20, Walcott third 0.14 and Chamberlain scoring a very disappointing 0.
Being a winger you have to be successful when taking your defender on as it will help you put pressure on the opposition’s defence, it could also help in a transition from defence to attack which will benefit the team. Chamberlain scores a winning 70.59% successful take on’s with Campbell second 65.38%, Mahrez is third on 54.69% and Walcott last 50%. In total Mahrez convincingly comes first with total attack score, after a very impressive season he has shown his qualities and has caught the eye of the Gunners with a very impressive 36.11, this is huge improvement on Arsenal’s current wingers with the closest to him is Walcott in second 21.40, Chamberlain third 19.85 and Campbell last 17.80.
In summary, Mahrez would be a huge upgrade on Arsenal’s current wingers. At only 25 years old he will now be hitting his prime with plenty more years in front of him. His stats prove how key he has been for Leicester City’s title charge and prove why he could be so good for Arsenal. The Gunners need to invest into the squad this summer as it is simply not good enough. The likes of Mahrez being signed would surely put an end to Walcott’s Arsenal career and could even put Chamberlain’s into doubt with the likes of Joel Campbell expected to leave. Arsene Wenger denied interest in the Algerian in his press conference on Wednesday, but when has he ever admitted having an interest in a player? He said on reported interest in Mahrez “No, even if it was, I would not think about it at this stage of the season. It would be disrespectful to Leicester, but it is not the case.”