Leicester join the chase for the next Riyad Mahrez
The summer of 2016 will go down in Leicester history, as the Foxes bask in the glory of their incredible Premier League title, but behind the scenes, Claudio Ranieri and co are busy ensuring the club become more than one-season wonders.
Leicester have been linked this week with Lyon’s star winger Rachid Ghezzal, a man with all the hallmarks of a certain Riyad Mahrez, the Premier League’s PFA Player of the Year.
The 24-year-old notched eight goals and eight assists for the French side last season, as they eventually overhauled Monaco to finish second behind PSG in Ligue 1.
Valued at under £2m by transfermarkt.co.uk, it looks as if the Leicester scouts are continuing their theme of seeking out Europe’s untapped potential.
Mahrez was a near ever-present last season, with 37 league appearances for the Foxes, but with Champions League football to contend with next term, it seems wise to offer the dazzling Algerian some cover and potential rest.
At first glance one might see Ghezzal as little more than a bag of tricks, but though he has an array of bamboozling skills in his locker, directly contributing to 19 goals for Lyon this season shows there’s very much an end product too.
A late bloomer, last season was very much the French-born Algerian’s breakthrough campaign, and Leicester face a fight from Sunderland and Southampton to snap up Ghezzal’s signature.
But with Lyon bagging a Champions League spot for next term, it seems unlikely the winger would move for either the Black Cats or the Saints, should Leicester place an offer.
It’s unrealistic to expect Mahrez to compete for strongly next term with regular midweek European football to contend with, and Ghezzel seems like an exciting and logical move for the Foxes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.