Confirmation that Manchester City’s £51 million left-back Benjamin Mendy has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines will come as a major blow to Citizens manager Pep Guardiola.
The former Barcelona coach struggled to fully implement his desired style of play last season due to the limitations of ageing full-back quartet; Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Alexander Kolarov.
To remedy this situation Guardiola spent a total of £157 million this summer on the younger and more athletically gifted full-back trio of Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo.
Despite taking a couple of games to settle, Mendy’s pace, deadly crossing and ability to cover huge amounts of ground up and down the left-flank had added a extra dimension to City’s play.
Bad news guys 😞 ll be joining Injury FC on loan for a couple monthes with ruptured ACL… but will be back soon & stronger hopefully 🙏🏾
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) September 28, 2017
Although midfielder Fabian Delph filled in admirably for the France international in the club’s midweek Champions League tie against Shaktar Donetsk, this seems little more than a stop-gap measure as opposed to a long-term solution. Guardiola admitted afterwards that his club will more than likely look to enter the transfer market in January to acquire a specialist replacement.
“The way we want to play, we will miss him a lot, he is a unique player, the joy he gives on and off the pitch.”
“We will see in January [about buying a replacement],” Said Guardiola after Wednesday’s victory.
Another option open to the Catalonian tactician is to use second choice right-back Danilo to fill in on left side of defence. However, the Brazil international played there in City’s opening game of the season against Brighton and his tendency to come back inside on his right foot tends to narrow the pitch – something Guardiola detests.
Not only will Mendy be missed by his manager; his team-mates and Citizen fans will also be devastated to lose an individual who despite only spending a short time in England, had already become hugely popular at the club.
On a personal level news of such a potential season-ending injury is also a hammer blow for the talented Frenchman, after just securing his big-money move to the Premier League and with the World Cup in Russia coming up next summer.
Mendy now faces many months of lonely and painstaking rehabilitation work to get himself back to full fitness. We wish him all the best.
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