Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka would be tougher to defend in comparison to Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez.
Mahrez has established himself as a bona fide Premier League legend over the years, having won the title four times at Leicester City and Manchester City combined. However, at the age of 31, Mahrez has entered the latter stages of his career and has not been at his best this season.
Despite the fact that the Algeria international has picked up his form after the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Ferdinand reckons Saka would be a more formidable opponent for a defender. Speaking on his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel, he said:
“If I had to play against one or the other, I’d rather play against [Riyad] Mahrez than [Bukayo] Saka.”
The Manchester United great has claimed that Saka's devastating pace makes him a bigger threat compared to his Manchester City counterpart.
“I just feel Saka’s pace…me as a full-back, I just feel he wants to go by you all the time. He’s a threat always to go behind, whereas, Mahrez takes little breathers in games and if I get to him close physically," Ferdinand said.
Saka has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and has been one of the key factors behind Arsenal's strong start to the season. The England international has scored six goals and provided six assists in 17 league games this campaign.
The Arsenal wizard also dazzled for England in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring thrice and providing one assist in four games.
Mahrez, on the other hand, has scored eight goals and provided two assists in 22 games this season. The Manchester City star has been decisive for Pep Guardiola's side since the FIFA World Cup break, scoring a crucial goal against Chelsea to keep City alive in the title race.
Manchester City could offer Jack Grealish in sensational swap deal for Arsenal superstar
Manchester City are reportedly considering an ambitious swap deal to sign Arsenal star Bukayo Saka that could see Jack Grealish heading in the opposite direction.
As reported by reliable journalist Dean Jones, the Cityzens are plotting a huge swap deal with Mikel Arteta's side.
Saka has been sensational for Arsenal this season and still has his best days ahead of him. The 21-year-old's contract is set to expire next summer and the Gunners are reportedly looking to reward him with a new and huge deal.
Grealish, on the other hand, has struggled following his £100 million move from Aston Villa. Injury woes and poor form have ensured that the 27-year-old has only started 8 games this season, scoring once and assisting once so far.