City winger Riyad Mahrez finds himself at the center of transfer speculation linking him to the Saudi Pro League this summer. However, a potential move to Saudi Arabia might be hindered by Arsenal’s recent contract extension for Bukayo Saka. The wonderkid is highly regarded by City manager Pep Guardiola as a potential replacement for Mahrez. The Algerian international’s chances of a lucrative Saudi payday took a further hit when Arsenal secured Saka’s long-term future in May.
Contract Extension for Saka Puts Saudi Move for Riyad Mahrez in Jeopardy
Al Ahli, the Saudi giants, have already made significant moves in the transfer market. They have acquired Roberto Firmino as a free agent and lured Edouard Mendy away from Chelsea. Mahrez’s dissatisfaction with his limited involvement in last season’s FA Cup and Champions League finals fueled speculation of his departure. However, Guardiola is reportedly reluctant to let the talented winger leave, especially with Bernardo Silva also considering an exit.
The Saudi Pro League, once lacking star quality, has attracted top players with its substantial financial incentives. As seen with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema joining the league since last season. Nevertheless, City may not necessarily need to seek attacking reinforcements if Mahrez departs. All thanks to the presence of promising young players within their ranks.
City’s Potential Replacements from Within
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Riyad Mahrez’s future, Manchester City may not need to venture into the transfer market to find attacking reinforcements. The club boasts several promising young players waiting for their opportunity.
Oscar Bobb, an academy graduate, appears to be the next in line to make the step up to Manchester City’s first team. With reports of Silva’s potential departure, City could face losing two players in the same position. This leads to speculation about the need for replacements. However, Guardiola has faith in the young talents waiting for their chance, and Bobb stands out as a rising star.
The 19-year-old winger impressed in the Premier League 2 last season, contributing six goals and 17 assists in 26 appearances. Bobb’s performances earned him accolades, including the Elite Development Squad Player of the Year award for the second consecutive year. Furthermore, he showcased his abilities on the international stage while representing the Norwegian Under-21s at the European Championships during the summer.
Another prospect that made his mark in the Under-21s Euros is Sergio Gomez. The young Spanish midfielder is another promising talent who could play a significant role for Manchester City in the upcoming season. Gomez has shown great potential and has impressed coaches with his technical skills and vision on the pitch. The 21-year-old has been making steady progress in the ranks and is now on the verge of breaking into the first team. While primarily a central midfielder, he can also operate in an advanced midfield role or even on the flanks. This flexibility makes him a valuable asset for Guardiola, who often emphasizes fluidity and adaptability in his team’s approach.
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