Riyad Mahrez Talks About His Struggle to Adjust to Man City
Riyad Mahrez joined Manchester City from Leicester City in 2018. He has struggled to get consistent minutes because there are players ahead of him.
As a winger, Mahrez has to play behind Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane who has secured their spots on the team. He has played 44 games across all competitions but only 26 of those games were starts. Of those games, he has only competed in the full 90 minutes 16 times.
He has still managed to be a productive player on the team, managing to score 10 goals and 12 assists across all competitions. His struggles may not be obvious to the casual fan but he has been experiencing a turbulent season. Playing time is his main problem because the team is just so stacked in the winger department.
He said, ‘At City, the team is built to win every game. We try to win everything we're playing for. Last year, when I arrived, the manager trusted me and believed in me, but I didn't make the difference as quick as they thought I would’.
He has admitted that he did not adjust quickly to the new system. It may have hurt his standing in the team but he has shown since that he is still a reliable player in the lineup. Last season, he had a tough time adjusting to the lineup and the lack of playing time but this season has been better for him.
It can be attributed to Sane’s injury which has given him more room to play freely. This is more reminiscent of his style of play when he was with Leicester and their Premier League-winning run in 2016.
He said, ‘When I arrived at City, I noticed how everyone sits back so you have to think differently. You have to deal differently with your opponent, and in my case the left-back because he's always in front of me. They also always have help around him, with a midfielder or the winger, so you have to change your play and your movement’.
He struggled at first with the new system but he has said that he is doing better because he fully understands the system now.
Words: Cholo Martin