Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists he’s happy with “funny guy” Benjamin Mendy, despite growing concerns over his off-field behaviour.
The French full-back grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons last weekend after being caught at a nightclub during the early hours of last Saturday before City’s 2-0 Premier League win at Fulham.
It’s been another injury-hit campaign for Mendy at City this season, with only 20 appearances to his name in total ever since completing a £52m transfer from AS Monaco in 2017.
The 24-year-old, who has been struggling with knee problems, could be in line for a return to the team, though, for this evening’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Brighton.
“We cannot judge him because he played so few games. He has been injured most of the time,” said Guardiola, according to Yahoo.
“Of course I am happy. He’s a nice guy, he has an incredible heart. He is a funny guy.
“Sometimes, I have to understand his own culture, where he has come from, so it’s not the first time, that one guy goes to dinner outside because he doesn’t have a game, and goes with his brother and his friend, to eat something, to drink something, it’s not the first time, and it will not be the last one, so it is what it is.
“What we want to do is work with him to protect his knee, his condition, to help us, because we need him. We have played two seasons without a left-back. That is a reality, so the first season, Fabian Delph helped us incredibly and Danilo as well, he was incredible in that position, and this season Oleks [Zinchenko].
“And we need him. Hopefully this part of the season and in the future, next season, he can be fit.”
When questioned on Mendy’s night activities, Guardiola replied: “Dancing? I don’t know if he danced. Really, I don’t know. I was not there.
“But from what I saw sometimes with his celebrations in the Premier League, he’s not a bad dancer. Really not.”
The former Barcelona manager also confirmed that he will not risk star striker Sergio Aguero unless he has returned to full fitness.
The City and Brighton FA Cup semi-final tie will begin at 18:30 (CET).
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 6, 2019