Happy Benjamin Mendy Gives Pep’s Man City Side Needed Balance

There was plenty of great talent on the Etihad pitch today, as Manchester City cruised to a 6-1 win over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League.

Sergio Augero’s hat-trick was sensational, David Silva was majestic in his first appearance of the season and goalkeeper Ederson produced a sublime pass that assisted one of Sergio’s goals.

But for me, left-back Benjamin Mendy played fantastically well and showed why Man City boss Pep Guardiola spent £52m on the defender a year ago.

The defender’s maiden season with The Citizens was severely curtailed after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee back in September. That meant that Mendy would only play in eight games for City.

He was back in time for France’s World Cup adventure and he was in Didier Deschamps winning squad.

Benjamin never publicly let his serious injury get him down, he seemed to be on social media showing off his smile. That happy go lucky mentality as well as being a determined individual are probably the reasons why Dechamps and Guardiola are delighted to have him in the dressing room, even if he’s not 100% fit.

The twenty-four year old arrived back from his summer success and he has shone for Man City.

Pep’s side have played three times this term, including the Community Shield win over Chelsea, and Mendy has played the full ninety minutes in all three fixtures.

On the opening weekend of the season, the left sided defender was on hand to create two assists as The Sky Blues downed Arsenal in London.

He followed that up with a superb performance against The Terries.

Benjamin basically played as a left winger, in a 3-5-2 formation, as his side penned Huddersfield back for much of the game. The Frenchman had no issues sticking to the touchline on the left and bombing forward.

The offensive left-back also supplied extremely dangerous crosses for the frontmen. He’d often take one touch before drilling the ball into the box. Huddersfield’s keeper Ben Hamer spilled on of those crosses and Sergio pounced to grab his second before Mendy then provided another precise cross to set-up Aguero for his hat-trick.

The wing-back also managed to have three shots at goal, had a 91% passing success rate (out of seventy four passes) and three of those were key passes.

It became quite evident early on last year that Guardiola didn’t really trust Danilo on the left side. English midfielder Fabian Delph did well to adapt but to be honest he did’t give the side the balance that having Benjamin Mendy in that role does.

After the 2-0 win over The Gunners last week, Pep Guardiola said of Mendy:

“sometimes you want to kill him; sometimes you want to say, Wow, what a player we have”.

It’s thought that the Spaniard wasn’t always happy with his defender’s positioning against Arsenal.

But if Pep can keep Mendy fit and focused then he’ll have a joker in the pack that can become one of the world’s best full-backs and a player that can help provide plenty of goals from the lefthand side.

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