Riyad Mahrez is preparing for arguably the biggest match of his career to date.
Manchester City take on Chelsea in the Champions League final in Portugal with the Algerian winger in line to play a key role in the aspiration of Pep Guardiola’s side.
The 30-year-old has scored 14 goals and created nine more in 47 appearances for the Citizens, making him one of Europe’s most effective players.
However it was a season in the Championship that set him on the road to glory.
Mahrez first moved to England when he joined second tier side Leicester City in the January 2014 for a bargain fee of just £450,000 – an absolute coup given the potential of the player.
The Foxes were far from the domestic heavyweights that we see in the current day, but with shrewd signings like that of Mahrez it was clear to see that they would be heading in the right direction.
In his first season in England, Mahrez made 19 appearances for Leicester as he helped them to secure the Championship title, scoring three goals and getting five assists along the way.
As a result of their success the winger’s time in the EFL would be short-lived and it wouldn’t be long before he was emerging as a top-level talent as he helped Claudio Ranieri’s side to secure a shock Premier League title before moving onto Manchester City.
His days in the Championship may seem like a long time ago now, but Mahrez will no doubt credit his five months in the Championship as a key foundation in helping him to thrive in the domestic and European game.