5 May 2016

Sign for Liverpool? 'Genius' £29m attacker wanted by Klopp will 'think about' transfer to 'big club' this summer

In December, reports in France) claimed that Liverpool were tracking Premier League sensation Riyadh Mahrez, and after winning the title with Leicester this week, Mahrez's agent has confirmed that the £29m-rated attacker is considering a big club move this summer. Chance for Liverpool?

When asked on Wednesday about Mahrez's future, his agent Kamel Bengougam, told The Guardian:

"There is a possibility [he will leave]. If the opportunity comes to play for a big team then we have to think about it. I'd say it's 50/50 whether he stays or goes. We have interest from the UK and overseas".

Even with Leicester in the Champions League, a desire to play for one of the world's biggest clubs is understandable, and after such a stunning season (28 goals/assists; PFA 'Player of the Year' winner), the world is Mahrez's oyster.

If he leaves, though, it's doubtful that Mahrez - hailed by Jamie Redknapp as a 'genius' - will choose Liverpool. It makes no sense to quit a league-winning, Champions League team, and sign for a non-CL team struggling to maintain a place in the Premier League's top eight.

Roberto Firmino is the closest Liverpool have to a Mahrez-type player, but when it comes to end product, Mahrez has left the Brazilian in the dust: (though Firmino is proving to be a good signing in his own right).

* Firmino: 19 goals/assists in 45 games (One every 160 mins)

* Mahrez: 28 goals/assists in 37 games (One every 105 mins)

This cuts no ice with biased Liverpool fans, though. Despite the fact that Mahrez has outperformed Firmino this season (and *every* other Liverpool attacking player), a recent poll shows that fans still believe Firmino is better for LFC:

I'd love to see Mahrez at Liverpool, but he should steer clear of Anfield. He'd be ruined by Jurgen Klopp, who'd force him to prioritise running and pressing above individual attacking flair. Mahrez would basically become another Adam Lallana: technically gifted, but lauded more for pressing and stamina than for regularly scoring/creating goals.

Mahrez - who, at first glance, appears to be lightweight - does his fair share of work at Leicester (he's one of only 14 players to win possession in the attacking third more than 10 times this season), but he doesn't run around like a headless chicken, and tire himself out with endless pressing.

Mahrez is allowed to do what he's supposed to do: priortise scoring/creating goals, and that had paid off in spades for Leicester.

Author: Jaimie K


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