It’s always annoying to see how headlines develop after a player who has been linked with Arsenal signs a contract with another club.

I woke this morning to see a number of sites running pieces with headlines such as ‘Mahrez – Why I rejected Arsenal!’ and instantly felt my blood starting to boil because I knew he probably hadn’t said anything of the sort but will now go down in history as a player who did.

You then open the piece to see, as expected, Mahrez explaining why he decided to stay at Leicester, making no mention of Arsenal at all.

What a lot of these reporters seem to be missing is that Claudio Ranieri said that Arsenal hadn’t even got in contact with Leicester, let alone bid, so how, exactly, did Mahrez reject us?

This is kinda like saying I rejected Beyonce just because a few reporters ran some stories saying I quite fancied her and I finally gave them an interview to tell them I loved my girlfriend. I don’t even know why I picked her, but you get the point.

They’d rather believe wild speculation than actual words that came from the Leicester manager who has been pretty spot on with his information all summer. In fact, they seem to be wilfully ignoring that Ranieri said Arsenal had not bid.

For your information, here’s what Riyad actually said when he spoke to LCTV, “I’m happy to continue my adventure with Leicester City. It’s been a pleasure to be here for the last two-and-a-half years, so I’m going to keep going here.

“I live day after day. I’ve achieved good things with this club. All the players have said congratulations. It’s good – they are happy, and it is good to keep all the players in the team. 

“It’s important because last season we achieved the best thing we could in England. We’ve done an amazing season and it was important to keep the players to keep the same spirit as well. 

“Our football has a lot of energy, so if all the players keep their mentalities right, I think we can do something good this year.

“I’m very happy to be here and I know the club is happy to sign me, so I thank them as well.”

A brutal rejection, eh?


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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.