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Liverpool and Tottenham competing for the ‘non-league Mahrez’

| 15.01.2016

The two standout performers of Leicester City’s ascent to being level on points with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League have undoubtedly been Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

Between them, the two have racked up 28 of the Foxes’ 38 top-flight goals and have tortured defences with their pace and trickery.

Taking inspiration from Claudio Ranieri’s men, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are set to fight it out over a player that encapsulates attributes of both of these stars.

Yasin Ben El-Mhanni is a 20-year-old winger currently plying his trade in the Isthmian League Premier Division with Lewes FC and his attacking talents have led to him being labelled the ‘non-league Mahrez.’

El-Mhanni has become a favourite amongst the Rooks faithful and is known for his clever trickery, which is clear to see across a number of YouTube videos highlighting his talents.

The comparisons to Vardy come from his potentially meteoric rise from non-league football into the Premier League and he will hope to mirror the England international’s journey from Stocksbridge Park Steels to leading the scoring charts in the top flight.

Spurs and Liverpool will need to act fast if they want to bring in the prospect, with the winger currently on trial at Crystal Palace.

El-Mhanni has been on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs for a while and he spent some time with West Brom earlier in the season.

However, if one of the big boys came calling you would have to imagine that the non-league star would prioritise them over the Eagles or the Baggies.

Tottenham have already shown they are prepared to bring in players from outside the Football League, with Shilow Tracey signed from Ebbsfleet earlier in the window.

The 17-year-old striker was Mauricio Pochettino’s first signing in January, highlighting how the Argentine manager is prepared to invest in youth.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.