Benjamin Mendy returned from injury during Manchester City’s 5-0 victory over Swansea City on Sunday. The left-back had been ruled out of action since September after rupturing his anterior cruciate knee ligament but made his long-awaited comeback yesterday to rapturous applause from City supporters.
Mendy remained a cult-hero among City supporters for his social media antics and boisterous nature throughout the season, and the behavior has not gone unnoticed by the France international.
Speaking after the game to CityTV, Mendy had this to say: “All the time I am laughing with the fans on social media,” he told reporters after the 5-0 victory. “I am the same as the fans – I go to the toilet and everything, so I am the same!
“I have never had a welcome like that; it was the best in the world.
“It was amazing after this long time. When I went on the pitch, the atmosphere was amazing.
Mendy had not played any competitive football for 211 days and was in need of only one Premier League appearance to ensure he received a Premier League winners medal.
“It has been a very long time, but every day I worked hard with the physio, the doctors, and the players. I knew with this injury we had to wait and work, but nine months on I am strong.
“I stayed with my family and friends, who helped me through this moment.”
In place of Mendy, Fabian Delph has come into the first-team has ensured his spot in City’s squad for next season with a variety of impressive performance throughout the campaign.
“Maybe he will take my place. I need to work hard for my comeback, but he has done great for the team this year, and Oleks Zinchenko the same.
“We are very good team-mates. But Fabian has been amazing – it is not his position, but he has had a lot of assists, has been strong in defence.
“Every day I tell him he is superb.”
Mendy will be hoping to remain fit for the remainder of the season ahead of the World Cup in Russia in June. His national side, France, are one of the favourites to win the tournament so it would be a great shame for the 24-year-old to miss out on another successful campaign.