Ferland Mendy’s Renaissance
Of the 6 signings completed by Florentino Pérez in the summer of 2019, only one has truly lived up to the 73-year-old’s expectations. Ferland Mendy was never supposed to do better than Eden Hazard or Luka Jović, as he wasn’t an acquisition valued enough by the Madrid fan base at the time. But he’s defied all odds, establishing his place as a starter over who is arguably the club’s greatest left-back.
No one would’ve pictured Marcelo’s replacement to be a defensive player, since the Brazilian never stood out for that aspect of the game in his career. Once again, however, it’s been proved that a player doesn’t necessarily need to be stylistically similar to another to replace him.
Ferland has been criticised for all sorts of reasons, but has never shied away from them to improve. His ability carrying the ball forward was questioned, so he worked on it, and is as a consequence one of the team’s most exciting practitioners of the art currently. He was regarded as a player with tons of drawbacks technically, but offers a lot to our offensive play with his precise progressive passes and relatively improved crosses now. They said we could never rely on him to find the opposing goal, yet he has more goal contributions than the likes of Alphonso Davies this season.
Having gone through a lot to get where he is, the Frenchman has developed an excellent mentality, hence why it feels like the more he’s slandered, the better he gets. He’s not had to change his style during the process too, quite impressive. Believe it or not, this will persist; he is on a mission to succeed, in the form of creating a reputation for himself here like his predecessor’s.
Madrid have a special left-back in their hands, who they can’t afford to deprive of opportunities and more time. Watching him genuinely gives you a smile on your face. It’s only a matter of time until he gets the recognition he deserves by the footballing world, which should hopefully only be a factor that helps him remain consistent.