Ranieri Claims Leicester's Riyad Mahrez Would Be a Perfect Fit for Roma
The future of Algerian midfielder and 2016 PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez is still up in the air as the left-footed playmaker seeks a move away from Leicester and ex-manager Claudio Ranieri believes he would be the perfect candidate to take Italian giants Roma to the next level.
Speaking after his first game in charge of Ligue 1 side Nantes, which ended in a 3-0 defeat against Lille at the weekend, the Leicester Mercury reports that the experienced Italian, who managed at the Stadio Olimpico between 2009-11, believes that Mahrez “needs to be loved” and a spell with Roma could do just the trick.
“He’s a great player, but one who needs to be loved, taken by the hand and embraced by the Roma fans,” claimed Ranieri.
Under the former Roma and Leicester boss, Mahrez was a joy to behold at the King Power stadium as the 26-year-old set the Premier League alight in the 2015/16 season, playing a key role in guiding them to the title.
However, last season the Algerian technician struggled to repeat his previous feats as they limped to a 12th place finish, while providing greater competition in the Champions League. Now with a taste of the prime time, Mahrez shocked his employees by handing in a transfer request in May.
Despite a less productive campaign last year that saw the creative winger only just reach double figures with 10 goals in 48 appearances, former boss Ranieri understands the backing of the Giallorossi faithful could see the midfielder return to his best.
“If he has that kind of atmosphere around him, then he can show all the wonderful talent at his disposal,” added Ranieri.