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Riyad Mahrez: a creative, mooching trend-bucker English football should cherish | Barney Ronay

Leicester’s lovely, louche, slouching little wedding cake figurine of a footballer is up for grabs – hopefully he will stay in the Premier League

Odd as it might sound given the strange, clamorous dealings of the last week, the sense of a very public meat-exchange taking place somewhere just out of sight, the Premier League transfer window doesn’t actually open until next month.

Not that you’d know it right now. Manchester United already seem to be covering themselves by simply trying to sign all the footballers, immediately, all the time. Three weeks before the window actually opens Virgil van Dijk is sitting outside St Mary’s in his car looking sad with a bunch of petrol station carnations and a card that says “Sorry” on the back seat. Meanwhile Romelu Lukaku is doing a decent job of convincing everyone he’s one of the most valuable footballers in the world, if only by weight of constant, self-regarding repetition, like the boy at school who gets to be captain because he’s got a really good pair of boots and he keeps going on about how he might have a trial with Norwich.

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