Riyad Mahrez has been odds-on to join Arsenal for much of the summer transfer window, but having been touted as a back-up option to Thomas Lemar, he now looks likely to join Roma.
The Algerian was the PFA Player of the Year for the 2015-16 season, but failed to live up the expectations on him last term, and his team all struggled to continue the dream.
Mahrez agreed with Leicester that he would be allowed to leave after last season, despite signing a new contract with improved terms, and Arsenal and Tottenham were believed to be leading the chase for his signature this month.
The Gunners have dallied over his potential capture however, with supposed preference for Thomas Lemar, and they now appear to be losing out in the bid to sign Mahrez.
Bookmakers now have Roma down as favourites to strike a deal for the Premier League winner, which either means Arsenal have failed to negotiate sufficiently, or that they are moving closer to an agreement for Lemar.
The Monaco midfielder looks likely to be the latest key player to quit the club in the current window, following Mendy, Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, as well as the likely departure of Kylian Mbappe.
Lemar is an exciting attacking talent, and had been tipped as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, although the latest remarks from Arsene Wenger claim that the Chilean is staying put. I’m not sure I’d take that statement as gospel however, with similar comments made prior to the departures of Samir Nasri, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and others previously.
Alexis staying does not mean we will not be adding to our attacking numbers, with Lucas Perez a likely departure, as well as speculation surrounding the future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott at present.
Did we mess Mahrez about? Is Lemar clearly a better option for our side?