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Football’s fourth age: It’s all about who you know… - 17 Jan 2018 11:30

By: Daniel Storey

In July 2017, Leicester City made it clear that they were willing to accept a bid of £50m for winger Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez was a Premier League title winner, PFA Player of the Year and African Player of the Year. He was at a non-elite club. He was 26. Roma came closest to signing him as a replacement for Mohamed Salah, but the price was deemed too high. There were no takers. In hindsight, that seems extraordinary. Chelsea paid £35m for Mahrez’s teammate Danny Drinkwater, a useful player but hardly a star. We have become accustomed to attacking players commanding a premium, and so too Premier League players. Here was a proven success in the middle of that Venn diagram and…nothing. Last month, the Leicester Mercury’s James Sharpe made the same point as he reacted to Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona from Liverpool. Since the start of 2015/16, Mahrez had ...
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