Riyad Mahrez is one of the very few players to have won the Premier League title for two different clubs. He is also among the fewer men to have scored a hat-trick in a FA Cup semi-final. His three goals against Sheffield United led Manchester City to a comfortable win that sets up a Manchester derby FA Cup final.
Aside from the unstoppable Erling Haaland, Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, and Ederson, Mahrez is the only other player in Man City’s squad who is an automatic first choice at his position. Into his fifth season for the Citizens, he has 78 goals and over 50 assists in 227 matches for the English champions and continues to deliver for them on a consistent basis.
One of the best left foots in the game
Mahrez has a potent left foot. He is a right winger in the mould of Arjen Robben – someone who likes to cut inside from the right flank and then take shots at the goal with his left foot. However, unlike Robben, he can deliver crosses from the right flank as well. Like most players in a side coached by Pep Guardiola, Mahrez can fall back to his own half to do some defending as well.
It has been a healthy contest between Jack Grealish and Phil Foden for the left winger’s role in City. However, Mahrez’s position has been quite secure. Bernardo Silva has made an occasional appearance as the right winger, but has predominantly played as a central midfielder only.
Riyad Mahrez can become a more potent goal-scorer
It was heartening to see the way Mahrez scored his third goal against Sheffield United. He moved into the Sheffield penalty box and met a cross from the left with his left foot to register his hat-trick. This is something that Gabriel Martinelli has been doing frequently as of late for Arsenal.
Martinelli’s more direct approach has helped his goal tally increase in the last couple of months. Mahrez should follow that policy and thereby benefit from his adept shooting skills. In that way, he can become an even more important member in Guardiola’s side. His form will be crucial for the Citizens in their upcoming fixtures against Arsenal and Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old Algerian winger still has a few years left in top-flight football. In a star-studded team like Manchester City, there will always be a number of opportunities to win big titles, including one to win the treble this year. Mahrez should make the most of his opportunities and reaffirm his legacy as one of the best African players to have played in England.