Manchester City announced the signing of Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez on Tuesday. The Premier League champions confirmed the capture of the 2016 PFA Player of the Year via their official Twitter account:
It's a deal set to cost the Citizens £60 million, according to Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, with the potential for the cost to reach £75 million.
Mahrez has already expressed his excitement at being part of the stylish football City play, per Rob Pollard of the club's official website:
"I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola. Watching them from afar has been a pleasure. Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding. They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it."
City director of football Txiki Begiristain lauded his latest acquisition:
The deal going through ends a tricky saga that saw Mahrez go on strike to try to force through a move to the Etihad Stadium back in January.
In the end, the Manchester club has gotten the deal it wanted all along:
As for Leicester, Mahrez's exit may be greeted with some relief:
Mahrez will compete for a place in the Sky Blues' front three with Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. He's coming off a strong season during which he contributed 13 goals and as many assists in all competitions for the Foxes.
The 27-year-old's pace, flair and exceptional dribbling make him a real handful for defenders and a force to be reckoned with in the final third. When combined with his creativity and eye for goal, Mahrez is one of the most potent attacking players in the Premier League at his best.
Mahrez joined the Foxes in January 2014 for just £400,000 from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre.
The Algerian scored four goals in 30 appearances in Leicester's first season back in the Premier League as the Foxes mounted a late surge to stay clear of relegation.
The following year, Mahrez racked up 17 goals and 11 assists from the right wing to help fire Claudio Ranieri's side to their sensational title win, which saw him awarded the PFA's top individual honour.
Mahrez struggled to replicate his form in the 2016-17 campaign, with the Foxes falling short as a team in the Premier League, though like his team-mates, he improved after the departure of Ranieri and ultimately accrued 10 goals and seven assists in all competitions.
Nevertheless, with the player back on form in 2017-18, City will be hoping he can boost their chances of winning multiple trophies once again after they won the league and the Carabao Cup last season, giving them yet more quality and strength in depth in the final third.
The move may require some adapting on Mahrez's part, though—he's not known for his work rate off the ball, whereas manager Pep Guardiola demands that of his forward players.
If he's to become a long-term success at the Etihad Stadium and hold down a place in the side amid plenty of competition for minutes, he'll need to be prepared to show more than he did at Leicester.