As Pep Guardiola prepares his Manchester City side for the 2021/22 season, he will have been given a huge boost in the knowledge that one of his star men looks increasingly likely to remain at the club for the foreseeable future: Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian is extremely happy in Manchester, and as the Daily Mail have reported, his club are preparing to offer him a new deal beyond the expiration of his current contract in 2023.
Should the winger sign the new deal, it will represent the latest significant milestone in his unstoppable rise over the past decade.
In 2011, then 19-year-old Mahrez moved to Le Havre in Normandy, where he played for three years in the second division of French professional football before signing for Leicester City in January 2014, who at that time were competing for promotion from the Championship.
He immediately established himself in the starting XI as Leicester were promoted to the Premier League that season.
From Ligue 2 to Premier League legend
The year that followed, however, surpassed any expectations that the silky forward could have dreamed of, as he played a starring role in The Foxes’ miraculous 2015/16 season, in which they clinched the Premier League title against all odds.
Mahrez was one of the standout players of the campaign, and cemented his place in Premier League folklore.
Two years later, he moved to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for 69 million euros, and although he struggled during his first season, he played a decisive role on the final day of that campaign to win the Premier League title, with a goal and an assist in the crucial victory at Brighton.
However, his career in Manchester took off last season, as he became a vital fixture of his coach’s starting XI, and put in a string of match-winning performances in Manchester City’s run to the Champions League Final, most notably with three goals in the semi-final victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
Now the Algerian winger closes in on a richly-deserved new contract, having risen from obscurity in the French Ligue 2 to establishing himself as one of the best wingers in world football.