Riyad Mahrez has backed England’s Harry Maguire to one day play for a top club, saying it would give him the recognition that he “deserves”.
Maguire was one of the Three Lions’ stars as they unexpectedly reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, where they eventually came unstuck 2-1 against Croatia in extra-time.
Nevertheless, his performances have reportedly been enough to attract interest from Manchester United, and Mahrez, who was a club-mate of Maguire until he moved to Manchester City earlier this week, believes he would be able to shine at Old Trafford.
“He’s a very good player,” he told the media. “Since the day he came to Leicester, the season he had last season as well, it doesn’t surprise me to see him succeeding at the World Cup. Of course he deserves to play higher. But Leicester is a good club as well, so it’s him, he’ll have to decide and see.”
Maguire, 25, has enjoyed an impressive rise to prominence since starting his career with Sheffiled United, with whom he played over 130 times in the league.
After three years with the Blades, he moved on to Hull City, where he spent another three years before switching to Leicester last summer for an initial fee of £12 million ($15.8m) that could increase to £17m ($22.3m).
With the Foxes, he enjoyed a fine debut campaign, winning the club’s Player of the Year award, having turned out in every Premier League match, scoring two goals in the process.
His fine form carried on with England at Russia 2018, where he was one of the outstanding centre-backs of the competition, netting a vital goal against Sweden in the quarter-finals.
United have now been linked with a £50m ($65.7m) approach for the defender, though with the transfer deadline brought forward to August 9 this summer, they face a race against time to push a deal over the line.
Leicester are unlikely to allow their star performer to leave easily as they seek to build towards European football again, having finished ninth in the league last term, and already spending big to sign James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira from Norwich and Porto respectively.
Meanwhile, they have also added Jonny Evans from West Brom, a potential new partner in the defence for Maguire.