The Algeria international is having to fight for minutes under Pep Guardiola, but says those challenges are helping to raise his game
Riyad Mahrez claims to be embracing added competition for places at Manchester City, with the likes of Jack Grealish and Phil Foden helping the Algeria international to raise his game.
The 30-year-old winger became the Blues’ record signing and the most expensive African player of all time when joining from Leicester for £60 million ($83m) in the summer of 2018.
He has not always been a guaranteed starter despite boasting a hefty price tag and has seen the emergence of academy graduate Foden and arrival of £100m ($139m) man Grealish threaten his place in Pep Guardiola’s plans.
What has been said?
Mahrez is up for the challenge, though, and has told City+: “I think I had good numbers last year, but I could’ve had more.
“But my performances were very good, so I was happy. The competition here has helped me a lot to improve my game. The manager as well. He is very demanding, he’s very into little details and he pushes you until the end.
“You have to be strong mentally to go higher and higher. You just have to work hard and play good every game and the manager decides, but if you play very good every game you have more of a chance to play.”
How has Mahrez fared for City?
Mahrez is, after figuring in Saturday’s Community Shield defeat to Leicester, up to 143 appearances for City.
He has registered 39 goals over the course of those outings, along with 34 assists.
A personal best return of 14 strikes was recorded for the Blues last season, as Mahrez helped Guardiola’s side to the Premier League title and another Carabao Cup triumph.
He has now won seven trophies while in Manchester, to go with the Premier League crown and PFA Player of the Year prize he captured while at the King Power Stadium.