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What Riyad Mahrez must do to nail down Man City starting berth under Pep Guardiola

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When Manchester City parted with £60m to sign Riyad Mahrez last summer, Brahim Díaz knew his career at the club was all but over.

Sané and Sterling have made fewer appearances than Mahrez this season but it is the regularity of their contribution has ensured their respective positions above Mahrez in Pep Guardiola's pecking order and explains why Mahrez has played the fewest minutes of the trio.

Mahrez has registered more shots from outside the box than both of his teammates - twice the number that Sterling has attempted - but, more importantly, has made far fewer touches of the ball in the opposition's box.

Sané and Sterling have become the best in the business at reaching the byline, lifting their head up and picking out the perfect pass to Sergio Aguero under Guardiola and Mahrez would do well to follow suit to truly ignite his Blues career.

City broke their transfer record to lure Mahrez, 27, to the Etihad and while his opening six months should be considered a success, in part, the Algeria international is still to match the consistency in performance that Sané and Sterling have produced over the course of the campaign.

Mahrez, who Leicester signed for a mere £400,000 four years ago on Friday, has still to make an indelible mark on the Blues and requires a stand-out moment to banish the memory of his penalty miss that cost City a vital away win at Anfield in October.

It was confirmation for the winger, who earned a Premier League winner's medal in his first full season with the first-team, that the Blues were unwilling to take a punt on him as an alternative to Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling.
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