Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez never came to his attention while the winger way plying his trade in the French lower leagues, the London Evening Standard report.
The Gunners are renowned for bringing in younger players and developing them accordingly, with right-back Hector Bellerin the latest to come in under the radar and perform exceedingly well.
But Leicester’s recruitment over the past few years equals that of Arsenal’s in terms of brilliance, with the previously unknown Mahrez turning out to be one of the greatest deals in recent times.
Speaking on the winger, Wenger has admitted to having no former knowledge of the Foxes ace and is quoted as as saying by the London Evening Standard: “I didn’t know him honestly, he played in the second division in France. He has developed extremely well; today he is one of the dominant players in the Premier League.”
Mahrez joined Le Havre for £400,000 in 2014 (as reported by the London Evening Standard), a price-tag which puts a number of big-money deals to shame considering his evident quality and huge potential.
The Algeria international has been a star for Claudio Ranieri’s side this season, scoring 14 goals and adding a further 10 assists as Leicester currently top the Premier League table.
Along with Mahrez, the East Midlands side also boast Jamie Vardy, N’golo Kante and Marc Albrighton among others – players who were also brought in for a pittance in relative terms.
The upcoming fixture between Arsenal and Leicester could go a long way in the title race, with the Gunners winning the corresponding fixture earlier in the campaign by a 5-2 score-line.