Manchester City have signed forward Riyad Mahrez from Premier League rivals Leicester City.
The Algerian international has agreed a five-year contract and will wear the No. 26 shirt. Here’s everything you need to know about the 27-year-old.
1: All in the Name
His full name is Riyad Karim Mahrez
2: Early days
Riyad was born in Sarcelles, France on February 21, 1991. His father was Algerian while his mother was of Algerian and Moroccan descent and growing up Riyad would regularly spend his holidays in Algeria where his father had played football.
3: First footing
Riyad began his career in 2004 joining AAS Sarcelles and after five years in the club’s youth set-up, he then turned professional in 2009 moving to Quimper for whom he made 27 appearances.
4: French progress
After turning down offers from both Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille, Riyad joined Ligue 2 side Le Havre in 2010, having been impressed by the club’s youth set-up. After an initial spell with Le Havre’s reserve side, he then went on to make 67 appearances for the first team, scoring 10 goals.
5: Leicester calling
After being spotted by Leicester City’s then-scout Steve Walsh, Riyad’s elegant playmaking abilities allied to his skill and speed earned him a move to the King Power Stadium on January 11, 2014, making his debut a fortnight later against Middlesbrough before scoring his first goal away at Nottingham Forest the following month.
6: Honours board
Riyad made his mark in the Leicester side that won the Championship title in 2013/14 after joining the club midway through the season. After helping the Foxes consolidate their Premier League status the following season, the Algerian star then emerged as one of Europe’s standout players in 2015/16, proving to be a key architect in Leicester’s incredible Premier League title-winning side that season. In total, he made 179 appearances for the Foxes, scoring 48 goals.
7: Awards season
Such was Riyad’s incredible impact that season, he was the recipient of a plethora of individual awards. Amongst the awards he collected were prizes for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, the CAF African Footballer of the Year, BBC African Footballer of the Year, Leicester City Player of the Year, Facebook FA Premier League Player of the Year, Algerian Player of the Year and the Lion d’Or Footballer of the Year
8: Hair apparent
During Leicester’s improbable march to the Premier League title in that 2015/16 season, such was Riyad’s burgeoning popularity that the barbershop in Sarcelles he regularly visited during his childhood became a must-visit destination for fans from as far afield as Belgium, with everyone keen to request a Riyad-style haircut.
9: Pride of Africa
Riyad made his debut for the Algerian international side against Armenia in 2014 and has so far gone on to win 34 caps for his country, scoring eight goals. He represented Algeria at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as well as at both the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
10: Key influence
Riyad credits his late father, Ahmed, as being the key influence on his career during his younger days. ‘My Dad was always behind me – he wanted me to be a footballer,’ he recalled. ‘He came to every game with me to give me help. He played for small teams in Algeria and France so he knew what he was saying.’
Be one of the first City fans to welcome our new signing Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City with our “Blue Carpet Welcome”.
Riyad will be unveiled to fans at West Reception of the Colin Bell Stand on Thursday at 6:00pm.
We’ll be hosting a very special Blue Carpet Experience with our City Square presenters Danny, Natalie and Hugh with music from our resident City Square DJ!
We’ll have giveaways, prizes and exclusive competitions - as well as the chance to get close to our new signing.
Get there early and you could be one of the lucky ones to make it within the barriers and on to the Blue Carpet! We get underway at 5:30pm.