“Benjamin’s greatest enemy is himself. This former teammate poses the diagnosis in a cold voice. If Benjamin Mendy struggles to continue with Manchester City, “it is because he should better manage his private life. “
Would his lifestyle be responsible for his repeated injuries? The left side has just recovered from a muscle glitch that kept him away from the pitch for a month. Since his cruciate ligament rupture in September 2017, the French international (10 selections) has been tormented by his body, in particular by a capricious meniscus. He has missed 123 games due to injury since he signed for Manchester City in July 2017. “These are not injuries that can be explained by the hygiene of life,” retorts a close to the side.
“Lately, he has played more regularly and rather well, appreciates his coach, Pep Guardiola. But he has not regained his best level, the one he had when he played in Monaco or Marseille. Benjamin Mendy started against Fulham this weekend. He hopes to challenge his former Marseille teammates this Wednesday (9 p.m.). And vice versa. “He’s a boy I really like,” says Steve Mandanda. He made the right career choices by leaving for Monaco, then for City. It is an extraordinary evolution and it is deserved, because it has enormous qualities! “
Endless evenings with his band of friends
These were revealed under the orders of Marcelo Bielsa, who made him one of his holders during the 2014-15 season. “People discovered him at that time, because Bielsa had an emotional side with him, he loved Benjamin like his own son,” smiles Modou Sougou, who rubbed shoulders with the side at OM a year earlier. The striker believes “that Elie Baup has given him a lot too. Benjamin has improved a lot technically during his first season in Marseille ”.
Kassim Abdallah remembers a “young, fiery youngster who was not shy. “The Comorian defender, now fired at Athletico Marseille (National 3), also describes a player” very dispersed, always to the right, to the left. OM supporters regularly met Benjamin Mendy at fast food restaurants or in nightclubs in the southern districts. His former neighbors tell of endless evenings in his large apartment, squatted by a bunch of friends who have also followed him to Manchester.
“It’s like a child, he can’t pay attention”
“He’s a whimsical boy, who sometimes had trouble getting up in the morning,” euphemistically a source close to the Olympian locker room. A crazy evening took him to the studio of Jul, the Marseille rapper, with whom he recorded, at 2 am, the track “Mercé”, which has gone viral. “They were very close,” we slip in the entourage of the artist, who offered one of his gold records to Mendy.
Without being a fan of self-tuned couplets, Marcelo Bielsa accepted the exuberance of his side. Unlike Michel, who criticized him a lot: “It’s like a child, he can not be attentive”, was annoyed the Spanish coach. A enfant terrible, but, as one witness concludes: “His joy of living cements a cloakroom! “
World champion in Russia, where he only participated in a non-stakeholder first round match against Denmark (0-0), Benjamin Mendy is no longer, since the accession of Lucas Hernandez, the holder of the left lane in the Blues. Slowed down by recurring physical glitches and inconstancy stigmatized by Pep Guardiola, his coach at Manchester City (he played in 41 out of 124 possible matches in the Premier League), he even fell back in the hierarchy to the point of no longer having been called up in France team since November 2019.
In Tirana, he had celebrated his 10th selection more than two and a half years after his baptism of fire in March 2017 in Luxembourg. Facing Albania, he struggled physically, proving unable to have a real offensive contribution.
If the French staff continue to follow this thwarted course, Lucas Digne was systematically preferred to him during the three meetings of 2020. The latter, captain at Everton, now seems clearly ahead of the former Marseille and Monaco. Unless injured or misshapen, he should, very likely, accompany Hernandez to Euro 2021. At best, Mendy, 26, can apply for a place among the reservists.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr