Klopp Must Try And Get Mahrez This Summer
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez in the upcoming summer transfer window and have already made contact over the possibility of a move. Mahrez, who was a target for Arsenal last summer, is also being targeted by Barcelona and according to reports, prefers a move to the Catalan outfit over the Reds.
However, Liverpool believe they can bring in the 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year award winner. Mahrez was one of the most outstanding performers for the Foxes in their surprise Premier League title triumph last season. But this term, the Algerian has somewhat gone off the boil. Yet he has produced 9 goals and 4 assists for Leicester this season from 35 appearances.
According to reports from Sport, Mahrez could cost the Reds somewhere in the region of £34 million. Klopp could use some additional depth to his squad, especially in the front three, as they have been heavily reliant on the form of Sadio Mane to deliver this season.
However, is Mahrez the answer for Liverpool? Definitely yes.
If this season has proven anything, it is that Klopp’s team have run into problems whenever they have had to make changes to their first-choice XI. It was evident in January when Mane and Philippe Coutinho weren’t available.
Assuming that the Reds qualify for Europe next year, those issues will only be magnified. They will definitely need a bigger squad. It wouldn’t be just in numbers, but also quality in depth; an influx of players who are at a similar level or higher to those currently in the first-team squad.
Mahrez fits the bill perfectly. A winger, who is best when played out wide on the right-side and allowed to cut in on his favoured left foot, he is someone who can slot in on the opposite flank or through the middle and bring versatility to the team.
He has the pace, the trickery on the ball and can hit a wicked shot from distance with his left foot and can send in lovely crosses. He can also play his other teammates through on goal as we saw him do with Jamie Vardy on numerous occasions last season. His sublime abilities from set-pieces will only add more quality to the Liverpool side.
With Mahrez in the side, it would also allow Sadio Mane to play through the middle, from where he has hurt defences in the past. The pace and power of those two combined up front will turn Liverpool into any defender’s nightmare. He is no slouch when it comes to helping his team defensively and is known for his work-rate as well.
There are no questions regarding the quality and the ability of Mahrez and he has proved this season that he can cut it out on the continental stages as well. The fact that his performances have dipped this season compared to last year might prove to be a detracting point, but Liverpool should look at it as an opportunity to get the player on the cheap as his value in the market will also have dipped. Liverpool still have plenty of work to do if they are to reach the heights of the past and signing Mahrez will be a step in the right direction.