Riyad Mahrez, man city
Riyad Mahrez Moves To Manchester City. / COURTESY

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez has joined Premier League champions Manchester City on a five-year-contract from Leicester City.

The deal is worth $78m, according to sources, which is a new transfer record for the premier league moneybags.

The 27-year-old will pocket $234,000 weekly. He becomes the most expensive African player of all time, a record previously held by Egyptian Mo Salah of Liverpool.

“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola,” Mahrez said.

“Watching them from afar has been a pleasure. Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is perfect for me, and City’s performanceS last season were outstanding. They’re redefining the English game and I wanted to be a part of it.

“I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.”

City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain added: “Riyad is a hugely talented player. He beats defenders and creates space.

“Over the past few years, he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting players.

“We’re sure he will bring additional attacking quality to our squad.”

Mahrez was born in France and began his professional career at Le Havre, where he made 67 appearances over a three-year period.

He signed for Leicester in 2013 and helped them win promotion to the Premier League by the end of his first season. He played 19 times and scored three goals, finishing the season strongly after an initial period of adjustment.

The 2014/15 season saw Leicester finish 14th in the league as they won seven of their final nine league games to save them from what appeared to be certain relegation.

And then came their 2016 title win, a fairy-tale story that will go down in Premier League history as one of the most unexpected and remarkable achievements of all time. Leicester won the title comfortably, finishing 10 points above second-placed Arsenal, despite starting the season as 5000-1 outsiders and many people’s tip for relegation.

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Mahrez was arguably their most important player, a fact recognized in the end-of-season awards. He secured a place in the PFA Team of the Year and was named the PFA Player of the Year after scoring 17 league goals in 37 matches.

In his final two years, he scored 23 goals, but Leicester failed to repeat their 2016 heroics, finishing 12th in 2017 and ninth last season.

In total, he played 179 times for Leicester, scoring 48 times.

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