Arsenal legend Ian Wright thinks his former side need a player like Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez and hope his performances will offset the seemingly inevitable departures of Manchester City target Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Rumours involving Sanchez and a move to City have intensified in recent days, with many expecting the Chilean attacker to arrive at The Etihad Stadium before the end of the January transfer window.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who insists there has been no contact between the Gunners and City this month, saw fit to name Sanchez on the bench for his side's 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final and has made no secret of his desire to see the former Barcelona winger remain in north London, but his optimism seems misplaced.

With Sanchez, valued at around £35m ($47.15m) by the Gunners despite having less than six months to run on his deal, destined to leave either this month or at the end of the season, Wright, who briefly worked under Wenger in the late 1990's, thinks Arsenal must buy Mahrez and bank on the Algerian playing out of his skin to help them get back into the Champions League positions without the support of Sanchez and perhaps Ozil, who is still in negotiations with the Gunners hierarchy over his future.

"Arsenal are in a position now where someone like [Riyad] Mahrez has to go there and really pull up trees to get them back to a position where they should be," Wright said on Sky Sports' The Debate.

"What help would Mahrez have? They're looking at two unbelievable players who might walk out of the club."

Mahrez, who still has over three years left on his £100,000-a-week contract, had informed Leicester of his desire to leave in the summer but a move away from the former Premier League champions never came to pass due to the Foxes' £50m valuation.

The former Le Havre star has since flourished under new manager Claude Puel in recent months, and he could attract further interest in his services if he puts in a strong display when Leicester travel to Chelsea on Saturday (13 January).

Riyad Mahrez
Mahrez was hoping to leave Leicester in the summer, but a move never came to pass Getty Images