How Man City Could Line Up With Mahrez
How Manchester City Could Line Up With Riyad Mahrez
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have made just one marquee signing in this window so far, in superstar Riyad Mahrez, who is now the Citizens' most expensive player ever. How could they line up with the African star in their side?
Click through the gallery above to see how Mahrez could be integrated into City's starting XI this coming season!
The Algerian is said to be the fourth highest-paid player at City following his £60 million (R1 billion) arrival at the Etihad earlier this month. Mahrez is believed to be earning £200 000 (R3.56 million) in weekly wages at the club, but many are unsure as to where he will fit in their system.
Although some rival fans feel Mahrez will simply strengthen City's bench, his numbers and performances in England over the years surely warrant him a place in Guardiola's strongest side.
In goal, Brazil's Ederson will retain his place ahead of Claudio Bravo and Joe Hart, who is with the squad for pre-season.
France international Benjamin Mendy struggled with injuries in his debut season in England, but if he is fit, Guardiola is likely to favour him over Fabian Delph at left-back. Kyle Walker is expected to be on the other side of defence, while the manager's strongest centre-back pairing might consist of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Aymeric Laporte has made a good case for his inclusion since his arrival at City in January, however, while the experienced Vincent Kompany will undoubtedly be relied upon from time to time.
The midfield three is likely to once again consist of last season's best playmaker in the Premier League Kevin De Bruyne, Spanish stalwart David Silva and no-nonsense hardman Fernandinho.
Guardiola has previously hinted that Silva could play less in the 2018/19 campaign, with the likes Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva ready to become regulars.
With regards to where Mahrez will play, it might be exactly where we saw him trouble defenders from at Leicester City: down the right-hand side of attack. The Algerian prefers to cut in on to his strongest foot from that inside forward position, from where he scored 48 times and assisted a further 38 strikes in 179 matches for the Foxes.
Although Raheem Sterling was excellent on the right for City last season, he might just be pushed over to the left side of attack, while Argentina international Sergio Aguero is likely to be favoured over Gabriel Jesus. That, however, may change over the course of the season.
Do you think City will retain the title with this team? Let us know in the comments section below.