Riyad Mahrez opted to keep the number 26 shirt after signing for Manchester City in 2018 due to the memories he had with it at Leicester City. Mahrez was handed the number 26 shirt upon his arrival at Leicester from Le Havre in 2014, a shirt which he went on to shine in and complete an historic Premier League title win in, for the Foxes. The winger decided to remain with that same jersey when moving to the Etihad Stadium in a £60million deal four years later. Mahrez could’ve taken the vacant number 11 shirt, now filled by Oleksandr Zinchenko and previously worn by Aleksandar Kolarov, but instead, he decided against it.
Riyad Mahrez said “The story behind the 26, when I arrived at Leicester, there was only two numbers left. 28 and 26, so I said ‘alright, I’ll take 26’ and it’s given me a lot of good things. I won the league with Leicester, Champions League quarter-final and then I liked it and kept it. When I arrived here, I could’ve taken 11 but I prefer to stick with number 26.”
Mahrez has scored 10 goals and registered five assists for City so far this season, including three goals in his last three Premier League outings.The Algerian winger was voted Etihad Player of the Month for February and explained in a short Q&A why he chose to stay with the number 26.
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