Bought from Leicester City back in 2018 for over £60m, Riyad Mahrez arrived expecting to play regularly.
Unfortunately for him, the competition in Pep Guardiola’s squad at Manchester City meant he’s had to fight for his place, and the recent arrival of Ferran Torres hasn’t helped one bit either.
The right-winger has had to make do with starting just over half of the Premier League games this year, totalling 25 appearances in all competitions, during which he’s scored six goals and assisted another three.
While his spot in the Algeria national team is never going to be in doubt, such is his importance within it, the current manager, Djamel Belmadi, revealed to Algerian television, relayed by DZ Foot, that Mahrez isn’t best pleased with his situation at the Etihad.
He said: “Mahrez isn’t happy in Manchester because he doesn’t play often, and he’s a fighter who wants to play all the games for his team. I can’t ask him to leave his club to play more in another, I’m not his agent, but the most important is for him to keep his fitness and to be ready for the next games of the national team.
“He’s our captain. I understand the fear of the fans, but, in my view, he’s got the ability to bounce back once again. I trust him”.
To put things in context, Mahrez has started just two Premier League games since the 0-0 draw against Manchester United back in mid-December, and those were a 1-0 home win over Brighton and a 5-0 drubbing away to West Bromwich Albion.
Not exactly a sign he’s fully trusted by Guardiola these days.