sport news Riyad Mahrez was out of the picture at Man City eight months ago, now he's ...

Last April, Riyad Mahrez was so discontent at Manchester City that he could no longer hold his tongue.

Pep Guardiola was not playing him and Mahrez set about letting his team-mates know that he was not happy about his situation.

He never envisioned that ousting Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva or Leroy Sane would be an easy task, but he expected a fair crack at it at the very least.

Riyad Mahrez could barely get a kick and looked out of picture at Man City eight months ago

Riyad Mahrez could barely get a kick and looked out of picture at Man City eight months ago

But the winger has had a terrific season so far and has been the driving force in recent weeks

But the winger has had a terrific season so far and has been the driving force in recent weeks

After all, why would City spend £60million to yank him away from Leicester just for him to sit on the bench?

Playing second fiddle was not what he signed up for. He was not here just to pick up his medal at the end of the season, he was here to contribute.

Mahrez was in and out of the side throughout last season but was particularly agitated after failing to make it off the bench for five of City's six games over April and May.

Guardiola unexpectedly turned to Mahrez for their trip to Brighton on the last day of the season with victory needed to secure the Premier League title. 

Mahrez's goal at Brighton on the last game of the season was a turning point in his City career

Mahrez's goal at Brighton on the last game of the season was a turning point in his City career

He had been complaining about being overlooked, but here he was, thrown into the furnace on the most important day of the season.   

Mahrez grasped the opportunity with both hands, putting in a quite brilliant display which was capped off with a marvellous goal as City overcame a scare to win 4-1 and stamp their name on the Premier League trophy.

Guardiola's decision to play him was like a gesture of trust and it pumped new life into Mahrez's career at City.

It was decided almost then and there that he would not leave the club in search of regular minutes despite rumours - influenced by the revelation he had been griping to team-mates - linking him with a summer move away.  

He helped Algeria win the African Cup of Nations a few months after that goal at Brighton

He helped Algeria win the African Cup of Nations a few months after that goal at Brighton

Buoyed by helping City get over the line in the title race, he headed off with Algeria for the African Cup of Nations reinvigorated.

And it was here that Mahrez reminded the world of his qualities as he guided his country to their first title in 29 years.

When he returned to City, Guardiola was planning on giving him an elevated role in his team with Leroy Sane on the verge of joining Bayern

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