Should Real Madrid be interested in Riyad Mahrez?

Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images) /

We are in March and there are around two to three months before the summer transfer window opens. But the transfer rumours have already begun and many names are being linked to Real Madrid. One such player linked to Los Blancos is Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez.

According to a report from, a Spanish outlet, Real Madrid have shown interest in the Algerian international.

Mahrez has 10 goals and 5 assists from 2468 minutes in all competitions this season. These numbers don’t look that great for his market value,  but he has had a pretty impressive stint with the Manchester-based club. He has 35 goals and 33 assists in his City career, at an average of 120 minutes per goal or assist. These are impressive stats, and they are enough to hype a fan. But in my opinion, his signing doesn’t look practical.

Fichajes is a low-tier source; they aren’t much reliable in the case of transfers. Mahrez is 30-years-old, and he has a contract until June 2023. He won’t come for cheap, and Manchester City wouldn’t hesitate to ask for 60 million or more for a player who’s in his prime. All of these factors make him mostly an unrealistic signing, and Real Madrid wouldn’t want to go for a short-term signing like him.

Real Madrid need a goal-scoring right winger

But if there is an ounce of truth in this rumour, the fact that Real Madrid is interested in a player of Mahrez’s profile really excites me. Because Real Madrid is in desperate need of a right-winger who can score goals. In the current squad, there is not a single winger who can guarantee us goals from the right flank.

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We need a goalscoring right-winger, who can get into dangerous positions by making well-timed runs behind the defensive line and latch onto the line-splitting passes made by the midfield. They need to have the ability to cut inside from the right flank with their left foot and threaten the opposition keeper with a testing shot.

It would be better if that player is capable of being an aerial target in the box, given our reliance on crosses in the final third. But tall players aren’t very penetrative with their dribbling (by penetrative I’m taking the reference of someone like Leo Messi and Eden Hazard), though they can beat the defender in 1v1 situations using their pace.

In short, we need a prime Gareth Bale.

If you look at the current squad, Eden Hazard (whose fitness isn’t guaranteed), Vinicius Junior (whose end-product isn’t guaranteed), Marco Asensio and Rodrygo Goes prefer to play on the left-wing.

Asensio is a left-footed player who prefers to be a classic winger from the left.  Only Lucas is a proper right-winger in the team, but his contribution is limited to wing-play and defensive support. Even our loanees Brahim Diaz, Takefusa Kubo and Martin Odegaard are predominantly creative players.

Almost every one of the above wingers is a creative player, apart from Rodrygo who has shown the tendency to get into goalscoring positions and finish with composure. There are players to create chances from the flanks, but there is only one finisher in Karim Benzema to finish them. Hazard isn’t an out and out goalscorer, and so far he has only been a link-up and line-breaking player.

Names like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland might sound exciting, but those will not solve the complete problem. Haaland plays as a striker, in Benzema’s position, while Mbappe is too costly at the moment, and he has been more of a left-winger. So the ideal solution, sporting-wise, is to find a player of the profile of Mahrez.

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Mohammed Salah is another option, but he is 29-years-old, and he is going to be another short-term solution like Mahrez. There is a need for the club to find similar players, who are younger and can offer a long-term solution to the goalscoring woes of Real Madrid. The bottom line is, Real Madrid shouldn’t show interest in Mahrez but show interest in finding players similar to Mahrez.