Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez has not started in any matches for the Manchester City squad since their victory against Southampton. And now, the Sky Blues coach Pep Guardiola apologizes for keeping him out of the team. The forward opted for his £60 million transfer from Leicester City to Manchester City last summer.
Mahrez started pretty well under Guardiola but his number of games drastically dropped down in December last year. And then, he practically vanished from the Manchester City squad since the last six weeks. Although Guardiola selected him for both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, he stayed at the bench without getting a single minute of playing time.
PEP 💬 I am sad because @Mahrez22 is training incredibly and he is a talented player, but with Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling in top form, that is the reason.
Give him six games and he will be at their level. I have no doubts about his quality.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 15, 2019
While talking about the absence of Riyad Mahrez from the team, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said, “Yeah, I have a reason.” The manager then further explained “My reason. I am the reason. I am the reason. He is not absolutely guilty or he doesn’t feel any special reason why.”
He said “I am sad because he is training incredibly, he is an incredibly talented player but in this moment we have five strikers, for example the last games Leroy [Sane] hasn’t played either. We have incredible players, like for example Bernardo [Silva] and Raz [Sterling] are in top, top form and that is the only reason why, there’s no particular reason, like being upset or something like that.”
The Manchester City manager said “He is a guy we are happy with, but unfortunately I am not kind with him, in the fact I cannot give him the minutes he deserves, so I’m sorry, that’s all I can say.” He then added “I am unfair in the fact that if he had played the minutes that the others had played he would have been in the top level like the players who are playing.”
Pep Guardiola then added, “It’s not easy for one guy who does not play regularly to come in and play at a high, high level. He has a level but give him five or six games in a row playing he is going to play at the level of Sterling or Bernardo or the players who play, because in two months when we played four or five games in a row he was incredible, outstanding.”