Shakespeare Confirms 'Focused' Mahrez Could Feature Against Arsenal on Opening Day

Wednesday August 9th, 2017

Riyad Mahrez has had a rollercoaster summer amidst continued talk about his future at Leicester city. AS Roma and Arsenal have been heavily linked with the Algerian and Inter Milan are also monitoring his situation, however, despite this uncertainty, Mahrez will be considered for selection on the opening day of the Premier League.

Leicester City travel to north London to face Arsenal on Friday and with the injury problems that the Foxes face in midfield, Mahrez will likely feature for Leicester at the Emirates Stadium, according to Sky Sports.

Manager Craig Shakespeare has confirmed that despite his desire to leave the King Power Stadium, Mahrez will be a Leicester City player next season unless a "reasonable" bid is made.

"I have to say he's been very focused, when I say driven - he hasn't given me one problem of pulling him to the side and saying, 'oi, pull your finger out'," Shakespeare explained. 

"We know he's come out and said that he wants to leave. Until we get a bid that is accepted that is reasonable for Leicester then he stays.

"As long as he stays focused, then he will be considered for selection."

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Leicester's manager also explained the Algerian international's transfer situation, stating that he does not want the club to be in a situation where they have to sell their best players.


"The transfer window can get silly if you let it.

"We don't want to be a selling club. We want to be a buying club, bringing in players," Shakespeare added. "That means I don't want to lose our best players. When you have good players, you have to accept interest in your players.

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"[Mahrez] has been focused, he's not giving me any problems. Until we get a bid that is reasonable for us, then he stays here.

"If he stays focused, he’ll be considered for selection."

Arsenal will likely start with new striker Alexandre Lacazette leading the line, the Frenchman impressing with his pre-season exploits with the Gunners. 

Sead Kolašinac could also be given a Premier League debut on Friday, having scored Arsenal's equalising goal in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea.

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