LONDON: Benjamin Mendy has promised to stick to the rules at Manchester City as the French star returned to action following a turbulent season.
Mendy’s first season with City was ended by a cruciate ligament injury and, having helped France win the World Cup, he has once again struggled with fitness and on-field issues this term.
On Saturday, the 24-year-old left-back made his first start since undergoing meniscus surgery in November, helping City reach the FA Cup final with a 1-0 win over Brighton at Wembley.
But the questions after the match did not only revolve around Mendy’s fitness problems.
Disciplined last September for reporting late to have treatment on a foot injury after attending Anthony Joshua’s boxing bout, Mendy was back in trouble with City boss Pep Guardiola this week.
Reports claimed he was in a nightclub in the early hours of last Saturday having not been included in the City squad for Fulham later that same day.
Guardiola said he wished Mendy, known for his flamboyant personality, had gone to bed earlier.
But the defender responded by insisting he would do whatever it takes to remain in Guardiola’s good books.
“I feel so good, and I am very happy. The team-mates and the staff have been really good,” Mendy said.
“I am not a doctor. I follow the rules. The excuse is not one.
“This injury (following an attempted comeback in January)… when I came back sometimes the swelling stayed.
“But now it’s good, we can forget the past and think about the future.
“I feel really fit and I want to give everything I can to help my team.”
Mendy’s return to the fold is a boost for City as they chase all four major trophies.
Guardiola’s men are the bookmakers’ favourite to win the Champions League and kick off their quarter-final clash with Tottenham at the north Londoners’ stunning new home on Tuesday.
“I have missed a lot of games, but my team-mates have been incredible,” Mendy said.
“So we need to trust and to believe.”