Craig Bellamy believes Pep Guardiola could take Riyad Mahrez to the next level

Former Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy believes Pep Guardiola could transform Riyad Mahrez into a much better player than he was at Leicester City. The Algeria international joined the Premier League champions for a club-record £60m fee last month and he has since shown glimpses of his old self in pre-season.

Speaking to Star Sports, Bellamy hailed Mahrez as a ‘top player’ and he is intrigued to see how he develops under the tutelage of Guardiola, he said: “He’s been a top player, he’s done a great job at Leicester. It’s a great time for him to move on. He’s just another option. I know it’s difficult obviously because of the money that they’ve spent but it was going to take that type of money to get him out of there. I’m interested to see how he improves Mahrez. The best thing with Guardiola, he improves players, he makes them better.”

Mahrez had been yearning for a potential exit over the past 12 months and during this period, the Foxes had snubbed offers from AS Roma as well as City. However, he eventually got his wish this summer with the east Midlands outfit not wanting to keep hold of a player, who would distort the morale around the squad.
At the Etihad, Mahrez may not command a regular starting role but a couple of good performances at the start could put him in the good books of Guardiola. Mahrez has mostly featured on the right wing through the course of his career and he can expect competition from both Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva when the new Premier League season starts.

“Manchester City have most-recently won the Community Shield after beating Chelsea by a 2-0 scoreline. “ They should now prepare themselves for another testing challenge against Arsenal in their season opener at the Emirates Stadium.