Sunday 22 April 2018

Pep Guardiola admits he fears the worst for in-form Man City defender Benjamin Mendy

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hints Benjamin Mendy will be out for several months
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hints Benjamin Mendy will be out for several months
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Benjamin Mendy is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, amid fears that he could be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Mendy made a big impression following his arrived at City from Monaco during the summer, but the knee injury sustained in last Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace is more serious than first feared and Guardiola has confirmed he expects the players to be sidelined for an extended period after his side’s 2-0 Champions League win against Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Our first impression is that it will it be a little long, longer than we expected,” conceded Guardiola. “It is very frustrating, firstly for him first as a person - it is very sad for him and for the way we want to play, we will lose a lot. It is a major set-back."

When asked whether he would consider moving into the transfer market in January to replace Mendy, Guardiola offered up this response:

“He is a unique player with the joy he gives and it is a big setback. We will see in January whether we need to make a new signing. We have alternatives. We have Danilo, (Fabian) Delph and (Oleks) Zinchenko who can play there so we will see as we go along.”

Despite Guardiola’s disappointment over the loss of Mendy, he was satisfied with his side’s display as they were forced to work hard to make it two wins out of two in the Champions League by beating Shakhtar at the Etihad Stadium with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

“A lot of credit to what we have done. The way Shakhtar play, they demand a lot of us, but our high pressing was brilliant,” he added.  “We had problems in the first half, we did not make enough passes in a row but the second half was much, much, much better. We are so, so happy for the win.

“They were very narrow and there was little space in between but then our full-backs were able to dictate and created a lot of chances for another four or five goals.

“Even at 1-0, we were stable. We did not score goals but it was a demanding game. The next game against Napoli will be even tougher.”

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