Arsenal ended their long contract saga with Arsene Wenger earlier this week after the 67-year-old was rewarded with a new two-year deal for his efforts.
The long-standing Frenchman is said to have high ambitions of leading the Gunners to the title after his latest extension, but he will nevertheless have to select his recruits carefully.
The FA Cup holders were credited with an interest in Riyad Mahrez during the summer of 2016, and many felt that he could be the right choice to add creativity in the final half.
However, the Algerian, backed off a potential dream move to the Emirates in order to extend his Leicester City stay following a historical maiden triumph for the King Power outfit.
Like Eden Hazard, Mahrez suffered a second-season syndrome after the league success, and he found himself in his shadows as the club plummetted towards the Premier League drop zone.
Fortunately for him, the club’s hierarchy acted by sacking Claudio Ranieri, and caretaker Craig Shakespeare managed to transform the squad with the help of winter recruit Wilfred Ndidi, who looked to have occupied the N’Golo Kante role.
The Premier League has produced several one-season wonders over the years, and Wenger will have to keep an eye on the negative effect Mahrez would have, should he fail to hit the heights at the Emirates.
Both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are mulling over potential moves away from north London, and one doubts whether Mahrez could handle the pressure of representing one of England’s elite clubs.
Playing for the Foxes is one thing, but to show up in the famous red and white strip of Arsenal is something which would bring a new aspect to his game as he would have to gel with players potentially at a similar or better level than himself.
Andrey Arshavin is one personality who blew hot and cold during his time in north London, and he was eventually termed a villain after his late substitute appearance gave Manchester United a dramatic winner back in the 2010-11 season.
Wenger’s team are currently in a two-way race with AS Monaco to pursue the French-born prospect (via Goal.com), but one would feel that the club should ignore the pursuit of Mahrez following the promise Aaron Ramsey has shown in the new 3-4-2-1 formation.
Image – BPI