Pundit Danny Murphy has suggested why Manchester City were willing to let Riyad Mahrez leave the club this summer.
After spending five years at the Manchester club, the winger left earlier this summer to make a £30m move to Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli.
With the club keeping hold of Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva after they were linked with moves away this summer, one pundit has weighed in on why Pep Guardiola may have been willing to let the Algerian leave rather than fight to keep hold of him.
Murphy drops claim on Mahrez exit
Speaking on talkSPORT, Murphy had this to say about Mahrez and his exit.
He said: “Pep won’t have it and there’s a reason he let Mahrez go with all his brilliance, there’s a reason Bernardo Silva played right-wing against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
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“Because Mahrez didn’t do the running, ‘Bernardo, you’re playing out there.’ He won’t accept it.”
During his time at the club, the 32-year-old made 236 appearances for City in all competitions, scoring 78 goals and delivering 59 assists along the way.
In terms of his work off the ball that Murphy mentioned as being the reason why Guardiola was willing to let the winger leave, his statistics from last season’s Premier League campaign compared to Silva shows why this could be the case.
For example, even though the Portuguese international played 285 more minutes than the winger, he ended the campaign with a higher combined total of tackles and interceptions (60 vs 39) than Mahrez, as well as making more recoveries (122 vs 82) than him.
With that in mind, Murphy could be correct in saying that Guardiola may have been willing to sell Mahrez due to his efforts off the ball in a defensive sense not being as prominent as other players in the squad such as Silva.