Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez has reportedly flown to Saudi Arabia to complete a multi-million dollar agreement. It is said that Mahrez is on the verge of finalizing a salary worth €30 million a year with Al Ahli.
His departure, along with Ilkay Gundogan’s exit and the potential departure of Bernardo Silva, has been anticipated for some time now. With only Mateo Kovacic as the sole new signing, the upcoming season may witness academy graduates stepping up to make their mark. Oscar Bobb, the young academy midfielder has been identified as a potential replacement for Mahrez. Why? Let’s find out.
Oscar Bobb’s rise up the ranks
Joined the Manchester City academy in 2019 as a scholar, the Norwegian youth international came to England courtesy of his exemplary performances for Norweigan side Vålerenga.
Oscar, since his joining, was an integral part of Man City’s U-18 squad where he helped the youth club win two consecutive domestic trophies in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season. After his brilliant performances with the U-18 team, he was promoted to the Elite Domestic Squad along with the likes of Rico Lewis.
One of the key players in Manchester City’s title defence, Bobb was named as the EDS player of the year for the 2021/22 season.
After his illusional performance in the 2021/22 season, Bobb was promoted to the U23 squad. He had a sensational season with the EDS squad as he ended up with a tally of 7 goals and 10 assists in 26 games.
Bobb was also a part of City’s UEFA Youth Cup squad where he made 6 appearances adding 1 goal and 2 assists to his tally. Guardiola is aware of the prowess that Bobb possesses as he had already used him in the 2022 FA Cup game against Swindon as an unused substitute.
Style of Play
Traditionally a midfielder, the Norwegian can also play out-wide in the same position as that of Mahrez. If Mahrez was not enough, Bob has already been described and compared to Argentine legend and Goat Lionel Messi because of his control on the ball.
A technically gifted midfielder, and predominantly a winger, Oscar Bobb boast a bag of tricks up his sleeves. The youngest loves to use side flanks to his advantage, make a run inside the box, and cut open the defence to shoot on the far corner. Messi, Mahrez, and Salah, all can be seen in him when he makes those twirls and swirls.
A ruthless midfielder in front of the goal, Bobb is equally adaptable with his weaker right foot. He is also seen making through balls to his partners or finding spaces to be present in the penalty box under the ball. He is the typical personification of ” being present in the perfect place in the perfect time.”
Will Oscar Bobb be able to replace Riyad Mahrez?
Still a work in progress, Bobb outrightly won’t be given the job of replacing Mahrez. He surely has the acumen required to be the next Riyad Mahrez or even the first Oscar Bobb but has a lot of work to do.
A quality time with the senior squad can surely do wonders and soon he may play alongside his teammate from the youth academy Rico Lewis. Pep Guardiola has been known to develop talents at pace and we may soon see Bobb in the senior team than we expect him to be.
His chances in the senior squad will also depend on Cole Palmer’s situation who if leaves City for loan will send Bobb up the queue. If not, Palmer will surely be given a green light before Oscar who will have to continue his development with the club.
If not soon, Oscar Bobb is surely a name that will make headlines!