Paul Merson explains why Leicester's Riyad Mahrez pips Mesut Ozil to his POTY

Leicester City

Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez has been in superb form this year.

Former player Paul Merson says Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez pips Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil to his player of the year selection due to the impact he is having on the surprise packages, the Daily Star report.

The Algeria international has experienced a truly remarkable 2015, firstly helping Leicester stay up when they looked certainties to go down before his goal scoring exploits this season.

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil may have more assists, while fellow Leicester teammate Jamie Vardy tops the Premier League scoring charts and scored in an astonishing 11 straight league matches.

But Merson feels Mahrez’s achievements outweighs the rest – heaping praise on the former Le Havre man and telling the Daily Star how the winger is the Foxes’ best all-round player.

“Ozil has been outstanding for Arsenal but you’ve got to look at what’s happening at Leicester. It’s a phenomenal story,” the former Arsenal man wrote.

“Vardy has been setting records and scoring goals and he’s been making all the headlines.”

“But it’s Mahrez who makes them tick. The way he’s played all season, he’s been even better than Vardy. Vardy is all about pace, work rate, determination, and of course scoring goals.”

“Mahrez is a better all-round player. He runs all day and he can see a pass. Nobody has really been able to stop him, and if he’s not scoring he’s making goals for others.”

  GoalsAssistsShots per GameKey Passes per GameTake-ons per gameAppearances
Riyad Mahrez 15 8 2.39 1.76 3.18 33
Mesut Özil 6 20 1.35 4 1.71 34

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the Premier League’s two outstanding creative players of 2015 compare well and post incredible tallies in key attacking areas.

Mahrez has scored more goals than Ozil throughout 2015, while he also averages more shots on goal and successful take-ons per league encounter.

Ozil, however, is currently in the form of his life and his assists for the Gunners have been nothing short of remarkable – recording 20 overall in 2015 and averaging four key passes per Premier League encounter.

The World Cup winner would rightfully be lauded as the league’s outstanding player in 2015 in any other circumstance, yet Leicester’s success is so special that its fitting a Foxes player receives the plaudits.

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