Pep Guardiola says he is happy with Benjamin Mendy despite questions over the Manchester City left-back’s conduct off the pitch.
Mendy was reportedly seen out at 0330 local time on Saturday, only nine hours before kick-off in City’s 2-0 Premier League victory away to Fulham.
Knee injuries have disrupted Mendy’s second season at the club, as they did his first campaign after joining from Monaco, and he has been restricted to nine Premier League appearances.
But the 24-year-old is in contention to face Brighton and Hove Albion in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final as City continue their bid to win a historic quadruple.
“We cannot judge him because he played so few games. He has been injured most of the time,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“Of course I am happy. He’s a nice guy, he has an incredible heart. He is a funny guy.
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) March 28, 2019
“Sometimes, I have to understand his own culture, where he has come from, so it’s not the first time, that one guy goes to dinner outside because he doesn’t have a game, and goes with his brother and his friend, to eat something, to drink something, it’s not the first time, and it will not be the last one, so it is what it is.
“What we want to do is work with him to protect his knee, his condition, to help us, because we need him. We have played two seasons without a left-back. That is a reality, so the first season, Fabian Delph helped us incredibly and Danilo as well, he was incredible in that position, and this season Oleks [Zinchenko].
“And we need him. Hopefully this part of the season and in the future, next season, he can be fit.”
Asked about Mendy’s late-night antics, Guardiola added: “Dancing? I don’t know if he danced. Really, I don’t know. I was not there.
“But from what I saw sometimes with his celebrations in the Premier League, he’s not a bad dancer. Really not.”
Muy bueno retomar la Premier con triunfo y gol //Very good to resume the Premier League with a win and a goal. C’mon, City pic.twitter.com/phifW5gQ0v
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) March 30, 2019
Mendy and Sergio Aguero could both be available to face Brighton, but Guardiola will not risk the striker unless he is at 100 per cent.
“Sergio is going to play when he’s really, really fit,” Guardiola said of City’s all-time leading scorer.
“The doctors are going to tell me tomorrow if he’s a risk of being injured and after that whether it could be three or four weeks out.
“If that is the case I’m sure he’s not going to play. It’s a semi-final. It’s an important game and we’ll play with the best side possible.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!