Five things on Benjamin Mendy, who signed a five-year contract to join Manchester City from Monaco on Monday to make him the world’s most expensive defender:
#BlueMendy – New Order
Fans of Manchester band New Order will have been tickled to see the witty #BlueMendy hashtag the world’s most expensive defender posted on a video he tweeted Monday telling City fans he’d see them soon.
New Order’s breakthrough hit back in 1983 of course was the classic dance-floor tune “Blue Monday”. The group are known to be City fans too. Mendy is a big music fan himself and was the semi-official dressing room DJ at Monaco.
Left wing code with Falcao
Putting aside his muscular and clinical tackling, Mendy’s surging runs down the left flank bore rich fruit for Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao. The pair swiftly struck up a keen understanding last season.
“He came to see me at the beginning of the season so we could invent a code to help me know where to place my crosses,” Mendy told French sports daily L’Equipe. ‘El Tigre’, as Falcao is known, scored 30 times from 43 games, his best haul since leaving Atletico Madrid in 2013.
How to say goodbye – with charm
“My Monaco adventure lasted just a year, but brought me so much; a League title, my first France cap, a Cup final, an exceptional run in the Champions League. But above all it led me through a wonderful human adventure,” Mendy said before offering sincere and profuse thanks to just about everyone who worked with him over the last year in his farewell message to Monaco and their fans.
El Loco, El Tactico and Sergeant Pep
At Marseille, Mendy was pushed by ‘El Loco’ Marcelo Bielsa to take his life and his career seriously, losing weight, curtailing his sweet tooth and getting up to less high jinks off the pitch.
At Monaco, he then came across Jardim whom he refers to as ‘El Tactico’, “the man who brought me on so much as a player and as a man”. ‘Sergeant Pep’ is the nickname given to Pep Guardiola by Oasis wildman singer Liam Gallagher, and few would doubt the Catalan’s ability to marshal Mendy’s talents to the next level.
If you can’t beat them, buy them
Raheem Sterling got behind Mendy to score City’s opener as the English side ran out 5-3 winners in February’s Champions League last-16 first leg, but the left-back was Monaco’s top-rated defender in the game.
He was again the team’s standout performer at the back in the 3-1 return-leg win over City, making the assist for the second goal for Fabinho, and linking well with Falcao in a truly powerful performance that may have sown the seeds in Guardiola’s mind to sign the rampaging full-back.
The 23-year-old has agreed a deal reported to be worth a record £52 million.