As talk has increased about Riyad Mahrez leaving Leicester City in the summer, it has been met with mixed emotions by the Foxes fans and, as an avid Leicester fan myself, I feel like he has earned the right during his time to make a decision like this.
His unbelievable performances in the 2015-16 season, which led Leicester to one of the most incredible stories in the history of sport, saw him pick up the PFA Player of the Year award for the Premier League.
There wasn’t a game throughout the whole season where he didn’t single-handedly get the whole of the King Power Stadium on the edge of their seats.
While his performances have been less influential this season, he is still owed a huge amount of respect for what he’s done since his arrival back in 2014 for just under £500,000.
He scored 17 goals and recorded 12 assists from the right-wing meaning only team-mate Jamie Vardy was directly involved in more Premier League goals last season (goals and assists).
He is possibly the most technically gifted player to ever pull on the Leicester City shirt and if he does leave, he will certainly be considered as one of the greatest Foxes players of all-time.
However, it’s his lack of effort that has frustrated the fans this season as he would regularly be caught out on the ball before showing no desire to win it back.
A poor attitude is the one thing Leicester fans hate the most and players like Jermaine Beckford and Neil Danns were forced out of the club because of this trait.
It is Mahrez’s lack of hard work that has seen him exiled by several sections of the Leicester support and it has got to a stage where many fans were calling for Demarai Gray to replace the Algerian.
There is talk coming from several news outlets, including the Daily Express, that Leicester are holding out for £50 million for their prized asset after he signed a new bumper deal last summer.
Even though many of the fans would like to see the Foxes cash in on the African Player of the Year, they have made it very clear that he shouldn’t be sold to a fellow Premier League side – an opinion that I certainly agree with.
My view is that the time is right to sell one of the greatest players Leicester has ever seen after his heart was clearly elsewhere especially as the season came to an end.
However, the last place I would want to see him go is to another Premier League club as we know better than anyone what he is capable of.
A fee above £40 million from a European club would be perfect for everyone and would give the Foxes the chance to sign another quality winger or to give Gray a run in the team that he desperately deserves.
I would personally say a massive thank you to Mahrez for giving us Leicester fans the chance to be a part of the greatest footballing story of all-time and I think now is the best time to sell him. Thanks Riyad.