Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Benjamin Mendy Injury Could Be a Big Issue for Manchester City

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 27 Sep 2017

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It must be frustrating to see your expensive new toy get broken as soon as you take it into your hands.

Reckon it’s the same with footballers.

Manchester City would know best now that their summer acquisition Benjamin Mendy picked up a worrying injury that could – by the latest reports – keep him on the sidelines for full nine months.

The former AS Monaco defender is due to fly over to Barcelona to visit one of Pep Guardiola’s most trusted specialists hoping that a detailed examination would offer some reassurance to Manchester City boss.

Mendy Mess

The Citizens only genuine left-back suffered a poorly timed right knee injury just as he’s started to warm up and show his true potential at the new club.

A €57.50 million summer investment fell to the ground after a challenge on Andros Townsend during his team’s 5-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium and got substituted inside the half an hour of the game.

Mendy was initially planned for the Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk but, instead of being on the pitch, the 23-year-old watched the game on crutches.

The Frenchman’s lengthy absence is likely to be a huge blow to Manchester City’s campaign given the early impression he made following his summer move from AS Monaco. Four Premier League appearances and a goal during that time were enough to suggest Pep Guardiola got himself a fine player alongside the left hand-side touchline.

His absence, however, raised a serious question knowing that despite heavy investments in order to create a new backline Pep Guardiola only has Mendy as a proper left-back. Having lost Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov this summer, Guardiola only brought Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker as replacements. He spent a great load of money along the way and yet he is currently left with no left-backs to replace the Frenchman.

Lack of Options

Attack-minded Germany talent Leroy Sane is obviously a wrong choice and his left wing-back cameo in the 1-1 draw against Everton will attest it.

Danilo could help Guardiol in this regard but he is already tasked with replacing the ever-injured Vincent Kompany, whereas Fabian Delph is a completely different story.

The forgotten City man was used as a makeshift defender in the past three matches and ended up doing a fairly decent job with plenty of interceptions, impressive passing accuracy and a fantastic goal against Crystal Palace working in his favour.

Mendy’s injury might be the only chance for Fabian Delph to get playing time this season and the City midfielder is eager to take it firmly with both hands.

But, wait, did anyone mention Aleksandar Kolarov?

The experienced Serbia international – undervalued at times under Pep Guardiola last season and criticised for his below-par performances in the heart of defense – is if anyone remembers a left-back by nature.

With €5 million they invested to land him this summer at the advice from former City striker Edin Dzeko, AS Roma got themselves a cracker who is repaying every pound in his early performances for the Serie A giants.

The 31-year-old made 5 Serie A appearances for his new club. Kolarov scored a goal and added two assists to an impressive tally for a left-back. His runs with ball down the touchline towards goal and tracking back deep into the AS Roma half make him a universal asset for Giallorossi who would come quite handy to Manchester City at this point.

Shot at Redemption

There’s no point in crying over the spilled milk and Manchester City need to work with what they’ve got, until January at least when Guardiola is likely to make another move that will take his total spending to well over €244.30 million the Citizens spent this summer.

And the best they’ve got is a man who – no disrespect intended – played mere seven Premier League games last season and unimpressive 17 a year before that.

A forgotten 27-year-old who I wish would use the odds stacked against them to show his true value and prove that he was more than just Manchester City’s way of balancing the number of homegrown footballers back in 2015/16 when he joined in from Aston Villa.

Delph is expected to start against Chelsea this Saturday as Citizens attempt to extend their seven-match winning run in all competitions. Citizens are available at 7/5 betting odds to claim a win at Stamford Bridge and remain top of the Premier league standings.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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