All eyes will be on Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City’s record signing and the most expensive African ever as Manchester city play their pre-season friendlies. The biggest question in the minds of fans after he was signed by Pep was that who he is going to replace in the title-winning Manchester City team, and his performance in the pre-season friendlies are the only way to get a clue how that is going to turnout.

Against Liverpool yesterday, Mahrez started on the right of a three man attacking line but behind centre forward Lucas Nmecha but he seemed to have slightly tucked in behind him. On a pitch that was difficult, Mahrez’s first touch and ball control was excellent. He pulled the strings extremely well in the first half. We know he has the ability to use both his feet well and we saw that as he controlled the ball with his left and fired in crosses with his right. People thought that he would be a threat to the places of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling but yesterday he played a role more like a Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. He had a pretty decent game yesterday against Liverpool, where the former Leicester man played some brilliant through balls and also had a curling free kick saved by Karius.

Pep sees Mahrez as a player who can play across a front three and the lies of Sterling and Bernardo Silva will have to stay on their toes and continue to perform at the highest level to keep their place in the team. Mahrez looks to be extremely confident and rearing to go to win Pep’s trust and secure his place in the starting eleven. “I am confident I can help the team win trophies. I have shown in the last three years in the Premier League that I deserve to play at the highest level.” says Mahrez.


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