Mahrez must be Arsenal’s number one transfer target

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If last season proved anything for Arsenal, it is that they need to find another reliable source of goals.

No club enjoyed more goal attempts from inside opposing boxes in 2015/16 than the Gunners’ 419, which was 50 more than anyone else besides Manchester City. Yet Arsene Wenger’s men were outscored by three other clubs.

Not only was Mesut Ozil their third highest top-flight scorer with a minimal six goals, many of the club’s main attacking threats suffered with considerably low goal conversion rates.

Theo Walcott took just 11.1% of his chances, Aaron Ramsey 7.1% and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 4.3%. Even Alexis Sanchez was far from prolific with his conversion rate of 12.1%.

These were the four squad members most regularly deployed on the right side of Wenger’s front three and it is fairly obvious that a player who can take some of the burden away from Olivier Giroud and Sanchez would be a valuable asset.

Links with Leicester’s 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez refuse to completely go away, despite recent comments from Claudio Ranieri that the Algerian now wants to stay at the King Power. It is 8/13 from 1/1 that Mahrez is a Gunner before the end of the summer transfer window.

Ranieri has previously intimated that he wouldn’t keep players who pushed hard to leave, which was the case with N’Golo Kante joining Chelsea, and Mahrez is thought to be a keen admirer of Arsenal.

After 17 goals from Leicester’s right flank last term at a conversion rate of 19.8%, it needs no explaining what he would bring to the Emirates, while he additionally supplied 11 assists.

His return from chances inside the box only was 17 goals from 48 attempts, which represents a 35% conversion rate. Sanchez scored from just 14% of his chances in the box and Giroud 17%.

Arsenal need a goalscoring forward and Mahrez would seemingly be allowed to join for the right price should he push hard enough. With the Gunners having a sizeable transfer kitty, it seems a no brainer not to push the boat out to sign the 25-year-old.

It is 4/7 that Arsenal finish in the top four this season and 6/1 that they win the Premier League title. Without a signing of the calibre of Mahrez to fill a problematic right-sided position, Champions League qualification looks under serious threat.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.