The Hard Tackle takes a look at three Premier League clubs that should pursue Ferland Mendy, as Real Madrid consider a summer sale.
Real Madrid are in a bit of a pickle at the moment. Arguably the biggest club in the world, the Spanish giants are not as gigantic on the financial front currently, with the coronavirus pandemic coinciding with the Santiago Bernabeu refurbishment project adversely affecting their books.
As a result, Real Madrid are in a position wherein they might need to cash in on some of their best players to balance their books. Amid rumours that a pay cut has been requested from players, Los Blancos have already seen two of their best ever defenders leave the club in the form of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
A recent report claimed that Real Madrid are open to selling any player for whom they receive an acceptable bid. To that end, there have been claims that the Merengues are considering a summer sale of Ferland Mendy in the wake of Marcelo becoming the club captain and Miguel Gutierrez showing a lot of promise to be the long-term solution at left-back.
Considering Real Madrid might want to recoup most of the €55 million they paid to sign him two years ago, there are only a few clubs that could afford him. In this feature, though, we will take a look at three Premier League clubs where Mendy would be an ideal fit before judging whether they have the means to secure his services. Here is our list.
Chelsea have been rumoured to be in the market for a left-back this summer, as Thomas Tuchel looks to build a squad that can challenge on all four fronts, with Alfonso Pedraza among the targets named in widespread reports. So, even though he has three left-backs at his disposal at present, it is important to note that the Blues have transfer-listed Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri.
Both the left-backs deemed to be surplus to requirements are being heavily linked with a switch to Serie A, and their sale is likely to prompt Chelsea to make a move for a new left-back. This is where someone like Ferland Mendy comes in, and he could be a twin-pronged solution for the west Londoners.
The Frenchman’s defensive abilities also make him a potential option for the left centre-back role in a three-man central defensive setup that Tuchel has preferred so far at Chelsea. And at a time when Kurt Zouma is being linked with a possible summer exit and Antonio Rudiger is yet to reach an agreement over a new contract, having someone like Mendy in the squad could work wonders.
As far as the near-€55 million valuation goes, Chelsea do have the means to shell out such a sum, with most of the fee likely to be offset by the sum they raise by selling Alonso and Emerson. Having said that, any move for the Real Madrid defender will hinge on Chelsea’s ability to cash in on the two left-backs.
Manchester City have been infamous for investing bucket-loads of money on full-backs without really experiencing a lot of success ever since Pep Guardiola took charge at the Etihad. In this period, the Citizens have brought in more than half a dozen full-backs, with only Kyle Walker and, to an extent, Joao Cancelo making their mark so far. And both of them are right-backs.
That in itself tells you that the left-back slot is not really in the most pink of health. Indeed, when he first arrived from AS Monaco, Benjamin Mendy was tipped to be the long-term solution in the left-back slot, only for the French international to spend more time on the sidelines than on the pitch.
The situation has been so grim that Pep Guardiola has had to field the likes of Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and even Fabian Delph on the left side of the defence for long periods. So, it is imperative that Manchester City sign a top-class left-back if they are to continue their dominance in domestic football while going one step further in Europe than they did last season. And they have been linked with a few options as well, including Nuno Mendes.
Mendy, to that end, is nothing short of a viable target for Manchester City, who can surely afford to pay €55 million to sign him from Real Madrid. Yes, it will be another heavy investment in a full-back under Pep Guardiola. However, the Real Madrid defender can be a long-term solution for good unlike his namesake.
West Ham United
The last option is a bit of a left of centre option presented by us. None of the other top clubs in the Premier League really need a left-back at the moment, whereas West Ham United can do with one amid the fitness issues that are plaguing Arthur Masuaku.
In fact, in Mendy, David Moyes will have a major upgrade on not just Masuaku, but even Aaron Cresswell, who is West Ham’s long-serving left-back. However, the Hammers’ boss could find a way to integrate the Real Madrid defender into his squad while still utilising Cresswell week in week out.
That is because Cresswell has often been deployed as a left centre-back in a back three, which frees up the spot on the left wing-back position, which Mendy can take up. And the Real Madrid ace can even be the catalyst in taking West Ham a step further in the Premier League and make a charge for a top-four finish.
Having said that, the east Londoners are in no position to invest a sum of €55 million or anything close to that really at a time when they are finding it tough to raise enough money to get even one signing over the line. So while Mendy would be an ideal fit at the London Stadium, swooping him away from Real Madrid is out of the question really.