How Mendy moved from a strik­ing role

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By MAR­CUS BANKS

BEN­JAMIN Mendy has revealed he for­merly played as a striker, but ad­vice from his coaches at Le Havre con­vinced him to move to left-back.

Mendy, 25, joined City in 2017 af­ter a sen­sa­tional sea­son at Monaco. Be­fore that he spent six years at Le Havre af­ter grad­u­at­ing from their youth academy.

The French­man has now said he used to oc­cupy Ser­gio Aguero and Gabriel Je­sus’ role of a striker.

How­ever, fol­low­ing ad­vice from his coach at Le Havre, Mendy de­cided left­back was the best po­si­tion for him.

Asked what po­si­tion he played, Mendy said: “Left winger and striker. When I got to Le Havre, my trainer Mo­hamed Sall told me: ‘You’ll be a left­back.’

“I said: ‘No way.’ He said: ‘Yes.’”

Sall revealed Mendy’s poor per­for­mance in a cup game led to the sug­ges­tion. He felt the French­man’s cross­ing abil­ity would be bet­ter utilised from the left of de­fence.

He said: “I re­alised pretty quickly that he wasn’t the great­est for­ward.

“A fi­nal in the Coupe de Normandie, Ben­jamin started as a for­ward. Af­ter 25 min­utes, he hadn’t scored.

“He wasn’t mov­ing enough or pulling his weight. So I asked Ben­jamin to move to the left.

“He looked at me, shrugged, and went left.

“We equalised quickly with Ben­jamin in that po­si­tion and won the cup fi­nal. He came to see me with a big smile and said ‘I’ve found my po­si­tion.’”

Mendy said of the switch: “Be­cause I was where I wanted to be and I got hold of the ball - it was sim­pler.”

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