Riyad Mahrez has been arguably the best player in the Premier League this season, a key reason as to why Leicester City is miraculously sitting atop the table in mid-December.
The Algerian winger is currently third in the league with 11 goals, behind Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and his Leicester teammate Jamie Vardy. He is second in the league with seven assists, behind only Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil.
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What makes those statistics even more impressive is where Mahrez came from. Lukaku and Ozil made high profile moves for club-record transfer fees, both in upwards of $50 million. Mahrez moved from Ligue 2 side Le Havre for around $750,000 when Leicester was still in the Championship.
With Mahrez’s form attracting attention from clubs across Europe, the 24-year-old said he does not plan on leaving Leicester during the January transfer window. Despite showing loyalty to the club that gave him a chance, he also said he doesn’t believe the Foxes are able to win the Premier League.
Speaking to French radio station RMC:
It’s best for me to stay until the end of the season. I was at Le Havre, I had six months left but nobody came to get me. Leicester tried very hard to get me.
I could feel that they wanted me. I took the decision without knowing the culture or the area. It was a risk. When you come from far away and you ended up in the Premier League it makes you happy.
We are not going to win the league, no. I don’t think we have broad enough shoulders to do it. At the moment we are first, but that means nothing. The big teams will wake up at some point.
While supporters should be happy that Mahrez wants to stay at Leicester, they won’t like hearing that their stay player thinks the club doesn’t have “broad enough shoulders” to win the league.
Many have been waiting for Leicester’s brilliant run of form to tail off, but we are nearly halfway through the season and the Foxes still sit at the top of the table. With the craziness that has been the 2015-16 Premier League season, you would expect Mahrez to have more belief in his team’s chances, at least when speaking publicly.