Zinchenko welcomes Mendy return

Manchester City
Benjamin Mendy

Manchester City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko believes Benjamin Mendy’s return to fitness is a positive for the club.

Mendy has endured a tough time of things since sealing a £50million move to the Etihad from Monaco in the summer of 2017.

He joined off the back of winning Ligue 1 with the Principality club, however, City fans are yet to see the best of him on a regular basis.

The France international made just seven Premier League appearances for the Citizens during his debut campaign, while he was restricted to 10 last term.

Long-term injury setbacks have left him watching on from the sidelines, missing a total of 85 games across all competitions, and that has offered Zinchenko a route into the first team.

Fabian Delph was trusted to deputise at left-back before leaving for Everton this summer and Zinchenko has claimed a berth in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI.

But that run in the side may be about to come to an end for the Ukrainian, who returns to his homeland for City’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, as Mendy is available after working his way back from knee surgery.

Mendy’s availability comes at just the right time for City who are light on defensive options following injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, while they are already playing catch-up on Liverpool in the Premier League.

Zinchenko feels Mendy has an important role to play in helping the Premier League champions to get back on track over the coming weeks, despite the fact he could lose his own place in the starting lineup.

“I’m so happy he is back, he lost so much time and everyone saw how much he worked on his recovery,” Zinchenko told City’s website.

“He’s so important playing for us. It’s a long season and [there are] lots of competitions so we need lots of players. I’m happy for him.”