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Former Arsenal striker-turned-pundit Alan Smith has urged his old club to sign Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez this summer.
As reported in the Daily Star, Smith believes the Gunners should opt for the Algerian over Everton’s Ross Barkley as he can win games and looks in good form in pre-season.
“I’d say (Arsenal should go after) Mahrez more than Barkley. I think he’s more of a match winner and he’s a more mature player. I’ve just come back from Hong Kong watching Liverpool and Leicester in the Asia Trophy, and Mahrez looked sharp,” he said.
“Whether he’s playing for a move, putting himself in the shop window, I don’t know. He’s definitely a Champions League player, although I know Arsenal aren’t in that competition this season!”
Arsenal haven’t been pursuing Mahrez heavily this summer, instead placing a lot more focus on Monaco’s Thomas Lemar. They aren’t making much progress with the French international which may result in them turning their attention back to the Leicester winger.
Mahrez is desperate for a move ahead of the new season, having handed in a transfer request and told the club of his desire to move on. So Arsenal could easily procure his signature if they match City’s asking price. The Gunners could reprise their interest in the coming week.
The 26-year-old scored and created 15 goals in all competitions last season, significantly lower than his form when City won the 2015/16 Premier League title, but he may improve in a better Arsenal side given the talent players around him.