Benjamin Mendy’s development is the perfect example of how a successful World Cup campaign can lift a player’s club career.
After tearing his ACL in September 2017, the Frenchman has fought his way back and is now looking to solidify his position in Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup. He started this Sunday by putting in a stellar performance in Manchester City’s season opener. Mendy set up both goals in the Skyblues’ 2-0 win at the Emirates against Arsenal.
More than 900 miles southeast of Manchester, Mendy’s buddy Corentin Tolisso is on a similar mission at German giants FC Bayern Munich. And Mendy has no doubt his French colleague will make his breakthrough under new Bayern manager Niko Kovac this season.
Mendy: Tolisso gives everything for Bayern
"He is a very good player”, the former AS Monaco defender told SPORT1 and AZ. “He runs, he has great skills and is physically strong. Quite frankly, he’s got it all. Corentin gives his heart for his team", Mendy raved about Tolisso. “Knowing you have him by your side can make you achieve anything!”
Mendy’s praise comes as a little surprise, considering the past between him and his former Olympique Lyon rival. In December of 2016, Mendy was sent off and suspended for five games after viciously kicking Tolisso during their Ligue 1 clash.
But the 24-year-old insists the two have moved on from this ugly moment in their friendship: "Yes, we had this incident in France. It’s okay now, though. We’re good friends. When I first met him, he was a little quiet. Now, we have a lot of fun together. I enjoy spending my time with him."
Mendy: Tolisso’s time at Bayern will come
In order to meet Mendy’s lofty expectations, Tolisso will have to assert himself amidst Bayern’s top quality central midfield, which stars the likes of Javi Martinez, Thomas Müller, James Rodriguez, Thiago, new addition Leon Goretzka and Sebastian Rudy.
Still, Mendy is sure his mate will get plenty of playing time under Kovac: "In a team like Bayern there are strong players in every position. You have to fight in training every day. Corentin has to be ready as soon as the manager calls his number. His time will come”, Mendy explained.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old wants to make sure Tolisso doesn’t take all the silverware with him while fighting his way up the Bayern ranks. "Bayern can’t win the Champions League because we will", he said with a wink.
Nonetheless, he doesn’t want to underestimate the German champions: "They are a big team in Germany and Europe. Their wingers are very fast and the whole team is very skilled."