Despite playing the whole 90 minutes in Manchester City’s 3-1 derby win over Manchester United on Sunday, Benjamin Mendy has had surgery on his knee this Wednesday. He was invited to the French squad for the international break but after some examinations on the knee, it was determined that further tests were necessary.
He then flew to Barcelona where he was operated on by trusted specialist Dr Ramon Cugat after further examinations had been carried out. Mendy has already missed a game this season as a result of injury concerns but bounced back to feature as Guardiola considers him a part of his strongest line up.
But after spending a long time on the treatment table last season, the latest injury leaves the defender facing another spell on the sidelines. He had surgery on his right knee last year. It was an anterior cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for over seven months in the season.
Although the latest setback is not as serious as that, the left back is still facing time away from the pitch. The club is yet to put a timescale on his recovery, but he adds to the club’s injury list as Kevin De Bruyne is still out on the sidelines.
Mendy was signed for a hefty fee from Monaco last summer and featured sparingly as City ran away with the title and dominated England.
As is now usually the case, after the surgery he was quick to provide an update of the situation on Social Media.
He posted on Instagram: “Other knee was jealous but the operation went well and it’s all good now be back soon guys u just have to find another FPL captain for some games.”
The 24-year-old has been one of City’s best players this season. The fact that the Frenchman has been named in every of Pep Guardiola’s squad against top four candidates this season speaks volumes.
In fact, the £52 million signing from Monaco last summer, has started 10 of City’s 12 Premier League games this season. The Sky Blues have remained unbeaten at the top of the table. But the competition is relatively tougher this time around. So key players staying injury-free will be very important.
Guardiola was able to navigate the better part of the last campaign without Mendy’s services as Fabian Delph, who is set to captain England on Thursday night, filled the void. But the former Aston Villa man has just recovered from an injury himself and is well known for his injury problems.
Oleksandr Zinchenko is another option as the Ukrainian proved vital last season. He featured in the position in City’s last Champions League match and helped the team to keep a clean sheet against Shakhtar Donetsk.
No doubt, as with any member of the team, Mendy is not indispensable. But the player’s importance to the club has only grown with time. He is the only natural left back in the team and is miles ahead of other options.
The team has done quite well in the absence of De Bruyne who was our starman last season, but more key players getting injured can begin to have an impact with Liverpool breathing down City’s neck.
On the positive side, his absence gives the likes of Delph and Zinchenko an opportunity for a run in the team which is also good for both players, especially with the transfer rumours surrounding the latter.