Riyad Mahrez will leave Leicester City this summer

Riyad Mahrez (via Wikimedia Commons).
Riyad Mahrez (via Wikimedia Commons). /

The Algerian winger confirmed he won’t leave the club in January, but didn’t commit anything further to the Foxes

Riyad Mahrez has been Leicester City’s best player this season and he’s the biggest reason they’re at the top of the Premier League table. Naturally, rumors began to circulate that he’d be a target for larger clubs during the January transfer window as a result of his supreme form. Much to the relief of all Leicester fans, Mahrez has come out and committed himself to stay at the club through the end of the season. Unfortunately, this denial of a January transfer feels more like an admission of an inevitable summer departure.

Think about the situation Mahrez is in. He’s playing for a side that’s on fire and sitting at the top of the Premier League table. This is the same club that many fans were concerned would suffer relegation before the year began. They are playing with house money at the moment and can go for every win with zero reservations. It’s probably the most fun time for a player at Leicester in the club’s history.

Why would Mahrez want to go in the middle of all this? He’s on an incredible ride and the atmosphere around the club is electric. It has to be a perfect situation for an attacking talent like him. Of course he isn’t going to want to leave the club in the middle of its magical season.

More importantly, there’s no way that Leicester would sell him during the January window. It would be the rough equivalent of going into King Power stadium and lighting hundreds of fans on fire. It would be a complete betrayal (my new favorite word for some reason) of the fan base’s trust and love for the club.

So if Mahrez was never a remote danger to leave the club, you have to ask yourself what we really learned from his public statements. The only thing we learned is that Mahrez wasn’t willing to commit himself to Leicester beyond the January window. If I were a fan of the Foxes this would set off loud warning bells in my brain. The important points of Mahrez’s remarks to the French press weren’t the things he did say, rather they were the things he didn’t.

He made zero comments about his future with Leicester beyond this season and that tells me that he knows his future lies elsewhere. If he were interested in staying why not take the opportunity to come out and express that at this time? I think if Mahrez really believed he was going to be at Leicester beyond this season he would have at least alluded to the idea during his press conference. Instead, he said nothing on the subject. His silence in regards to his future was deafening.

As a result, Leicester fans should get their fill of watching the Algerian winger for their favorite club this season. Next year, the fairy tale might be over and Mahrez will almost certainly be suiting up for a bigger club.