By Aramide Oladipo
Alan Smith has encouraged his former club Arsenal not to sign Everton youngster Ross Barkley and attempt to land Leicester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez instead this summer.
Barkley, 23, has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park during the transfer window and the North London club have been one of the teams linked with him.
The Englishman’s Everton exit looks ever closer as BBC journalist Juliette Ferrington recently posted on her official Twitter account that Toffees boss Ronald Koeman revealed that Barkley wants to leave the Merseyside club this summer.
Speaking to the Alan Brazil Breakfast Show on TalkSPORT on Friday (July 28, 6am), Smith believes that the Gunners should not pursue Barkley as he feels that Mahrez is a better choice.
“I’d say [Arsenal should go after] Mahrez more than Barkley,” he said.
“I think he’s more of a match winner and he’s a more mature player.
“He’s definitely a Champions League player, although I know Arsenal aren’t in that competition this season!”
The 26-year-old played an instrumental role in guiding Leicester to their first ever league title during the 2015-16 campaign.
The Algerian’s performances saw him become the first African player to win the PFA Player of the Year award that season.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners have seen a huge offer rejected for this France international.