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Published: 10:53 | 12/1/18

Owen: Mahrez not the right replacement for Coutinho


Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has questioned whether Reds target Riyad Mahrez is the right man to replace Philippe Coutinho.

Leicester's Mahrez is being targeted as the man to slot into the Liverpool XI in place of the departing Brazilian, with the club keen to make the capture before the end of the January transfer window. Mahrez' finest moment thus far came in the 2016 season when he was the inspiration behind the Foxes' unlikely Premier League-winning campaign, which culminated in him being named PFA Player of the Year. 

 A poor 2017 season followed, before Mahrez regained his form this season, scoring seven and assisting seven for a rejuvenated Leicester.

Writing in his column for BetVictor, ahead of Liverpool's clash with Manchester City in the Premier League at Anfield this Sunday, Owen said: "Liverpool begin life without Philippe in what promises to be one of the games of the season played between the two most exciting sides in the division.

"I was asked this week if I thought Riyad [Mahrez], who has been linked with a move to Anfield, would be the ideal replacement for Coutinho but I couldn’t agree. 

"As good a player as Mahrez is, he might not possess the pace or work ethic that Jurgen Klopp might be looking for and I wonder where he would fit into the starting XI – certainly not instead of the brilliant Mo Salah on the right side of the front three."

Leicester face Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup at King Power Stadium on Tuesday, 16 January, live on BT Sport 2 [kick off 7.45pm].

Image: Getty Images/ Tony Marshall

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