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It was a strange 2017-18 season for Benjamin Mendy.
The disappointment of his anterior cruciate ligament injury, which restricted him to eight City appearances, was offset by returning in time to lift the Premier League trophy and then playing a role in France’s World Cup triumph.
He's now fully recovered from the injury that kept him our for seven months - and if his performance at Wembley in Sunday’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea is anything to go by, he will bring a new dimension to a side that won the Premier League by 19 points last time out.
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He was at his marauding best, particularly in the first half where his eagerness to get forward and create overloads down the left-hand side gave us a powerful attacking edge. Chelsea were struggling to cope, and Mendy, looking supremely fit and raring to go, was clearly enjoying the freedom he was afforded.
But not only does it offer Guardiola a specialist left-back and additional firepower, it allows him to play three at the back, a formation he trialled at the start of last season before Mendy’s setback.
With teams likely to play even more defensively against City this season in a bid to stifle our attacking football, that kind of tactical flexibility could be vital.
And aside from his influence on the pitch, Mendy has also brought qualities off it. He is a huge personality in the dressing room, the kind of character who improves morale and unites players. Having him more actively involved this season can only be a good thing.
City lost a world-class left-back last season when Mendy was injured. His return is a huge boost.
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