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'I can give more and more!' - Mahrez sends message to Guardiola as he aims to become Man City regular

2:51 PM IST 20/12/19
Riyad Mahrez Manchester City 2019
The Algerian is confident he can replicate the same level of performances he managed week in, week out when Leicester City won the 2015-16 title

Riyad Mahrez wants to rediscover the form which earned him the 2016 PFA Player of the Year award and insists he can give "more and more" as Manchester City seek trophies in the 2019-20 season.

Mahrez spent four years at Leicester City, scoring 48 goals in 179 appearances while also becoming a Premier League winner.

The Algeria international was outstanding during the Foxes' unlikely run to domestic glory, contributing 17 goals and 11 assists in 37 appearances.

Big things were expected of Mahrez when he joined City for £60 million ($78m) in the summer of 2018, but he has not yet been able to reach the same heights on an individual level as he managed at the King Power Stadium.

The 28-year-old helped Pep Guardiola's side win the title last season, but he only managed to score seven goals, and failed to earn a regular spot in the starting XI.

With Leroy Sane out of action through injury, Mahrez has had more opportunities to prove himself at the start of the 2019-20 campaign, with a stunning goal in a 2-1 home win over Chelsea last month marking perhaps his best performance yet in a City shirt.

Mahrez feels he is heading in the right direction and is capable of reaching the same levels he did to win the PFA Player of the Year award if he builds on a top-10 finish in this year's Ballon d'Or voting.

“Of course that’s the level I want to reach again," Mahrez told Sport 360.

“That’s why we are all playing football, that’s why I’m here. We always have ambition and I am trying to get back there. I am feeling good.

“It’s very special for me to be nominated for awards like that and being in the last 30 of the Ballon d’Or. It’s something amazing.”

Mahrez has featured in 21 matches across all competitions for City this term, and will be back in contention for a place in Guardiola's line-up when they host his former club Leicester at the Etihad on Saturday.

The mercurial winger went on to discuss how winning the 2019 African Cup of Nations gave him a much-needed confidence boost, before insisting he still has a lot more to give City as they challenge for major honours once again.

“When I came back to the club he [Guardiola] said 'well done' and he’s happy for me to win the African Cup,” Mahrez added. "I’m proud to be the captain of Algeria, it’s my country and I’m very happy to play for them, very happy to give everything and to win that cup. We have a great team and a great manager for Algeria.

“What happened gave me a lot of confidence and I want to continue like that this season with City. I think I can show more and more now. I just need to play, to keep going and become a player who if I keep playing I can give more and more and more.

“Just try to keep doing what I did [against Chelsea]. It was one of the best goals I’ve scored, yes, but the most important thing was that I helped the team win. Of course, you want to play all the time - but the manager decides and you have to accept it.

“When the manager wants me to play, I will try to help the team. I just need to play, to keep going - I can give more and more.”