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Riyad Mahrez: ‘We’ll see if’ Nouhou is a ‘top defender’

Nouhou has the task of shutting down another very good winger.

FBL-AFR-AFCON-2021-2022-BFA-CMR Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

The last time Nouhou suited up for Cameroon, he shut down none other than Mo Salah in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinals. Cameroon ultimately lost that match in a penalty shootout, but Nouhou effectively rendered one of the world’s best players irrelevant.

Nouhou is back with Cameroon and there’s even more on the line this week when the Indomitable Lions play Algeria in a two-legged playoff with a spot in the 2022 World Cup on the line. Again, Nouhou is matched up with an elite winger in Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.

Mahrez is apparently quite aware of Nouhou’s reputation, but seems to be welcoming the challenge.

Mahrez is enjoying another very good season at Manchester City, where he has 16 goals and 6 assists in nearly 1,700 minutes across all competitions. He’s also been Algeria’s top offensive player during qualifying with 5 goals and 2 assists in less than 500 minutes.

If Nouhou can summon another performance like he did against Salah, it will only add to his perceived market value which has already increased by about four times over the past two years.