Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier has sent a warning to Premier League champions Manchester City, suggesting that a deal for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez could deny youngster Phil Foden valuable first-team opportunities at the Etihad.
In an appearance on the ‘Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast’ programme on talkSport, Le Tissier was asked about a potential deal for Mahrez and how it would impact the team, replying; “That’s probably the most disappointing aspect of it from the national team’s point of view.
“You’ve got talented young boys there… but if he wants to come on loan to Southampton he’ll be more than welcome down here!
“It might be an opportunity that is being denied for Manchester City, but it could mean he gets a loan move away to get Premier League experience, and then proves to City that he’s actually better than what they’ve just spent on.”
Foden is widely regarded as one of England’s brightest young talents, but so far has had to settle for just 10 appearances in the senior team, with the likes of Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva acting as competition.
City are preparing talks with Foden about a new contract, and reportedly they will not look to loan the youngster out next season, instead allowing him to develop under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.
However, any potential deal for Mahrez may lead Manchester City to change their opinion on Foden’s development.
Mahrez’s arrival at the Etihad is reportedly imminent, with the Citizens having previously failed in their endeavours to sign him in January. The Algerian was dropped from the Leicester side around the time of the bid from City, but showed an upturn in form towards the end of the campaign.