riyad mahrez manchester city sportstiger

Credit: Twitter

Riyad Mahrez, the Algerian winger, has completed his transfer from Manchester City to Al-Ahli for a fee of £30 million. The 32-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Saudi Pro League club after being granted permission to skip City's pre-season tour of Asia.

Mahrez joined City from Leicester City in 2018 for a club-record £60m and helped them win four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, three League Cups, and one Champions League. During his time at the Etihad, Mahrez made 236 appearances, scored 78 goals, and provided 59 assists for his teammates. 

"To play for Manchester City has been an honor and privilege," said Mahrez, “I came to City to win trophies and enjoy my football. I achieved all that and so much more. I've made a lifetime of wonderful memories. Manchester City will forever be a huge and happy part of my life."

Mahrez is the latest star player to join the Saudi League, which has seen an influx of big names this summer. Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante, and Ruben Neves are among the players who have moved to the SPL, while Steven Gerrard has taken on a managerial role.

Mahrez pens emotional note on Twitter after leaving Manchester City 

Mahrez, who spent five years at the Etihad Stadium and won 11 trophies with the club, said that he will never forget any of the fans who cheered him on during his time in England. He also expressed his gratitude to his teammates, staff, and manager Pep Guardiola, for helping him improve as a player and a person.

Mahrez wrote, "Dear Cityzens, Today marks the end of an unforgettable chapter in my life, a five-year journey filled with countless memories. Before leaving, I wanted to thank the board, the manager, and the staff for giving me the chance to prove myself at the highest level.”

He further remembered the past season when City completed their historic treble as he wrote, “Together, we’ve broken countless records, achieved what seemed impossible, and never stopped believing in ourselves during the challenging times we faced. Our last season will forever be remembered in our Club and beyond, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

The winger further thanked the fans, who have loved him ever since he arrived at the club.  Along with this message, Mahrez posted a video, which was a montage of pictures from his signing and some glorious moments of magic from his time at the club.

Mahrez is now set to start a new chapter in his career with Al-Ahli, one of the four clubs backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). Manchester City have now lost two of their key players in this transfer window, Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona and Mahrez to Al Ahli. It will be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola adapts to the situation and replaces these two in his starting 11.