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Man City star Mendy 'absolutely' in France’s World Cup thoughts - Deschamps

11:58 EAT 21/02/2018
Benjamin Mendy
The prospects of the 23-year-old gaining the level required to play in the summer remain bright, according to his national team boss

France boss Didier Deschamps has backed Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy to be fit in time to make his World Cup 2018 squad.

Mendy became the game’s most expensive defender when he moved from Monaco to Manchester City in the summer for £52 million, although that honour has since been taken by Virgil van Dijk, who traded Southampton for Liverpool in January.

Although he made a promising start on the field for Pep Guardiola’s side, the 23-year-old has been restricted to becoming a social media icon in recent months due to a serious knee injury.

Mendy underwent surgery for a cruciate ligament rupture in September and is in a race against time to be fit for the end of the season and the World Cup.

“He’s making good progress, if not very good,” Deschamps to SFR Sport . “Now he needs to rediscover his rhythm in training with the squad, then resume competitive football. But he’ll do everything he can, I know he has the desire.”

Indeed, the former Juventus midfielder gives the City star a chance of making his 23-man panel to travel to Russia.

“Absolutely, yes,” he responded when asked if the defender is a candidate. “Today, I don’t have a definite answer, but neither does he. He’s doing everything he can to regain his condition. 

“There’s no point in taking shortcuts. He must recover his flexibility and his ability to stretch the joint so that he is no longer apprehensive about it.”

Deschamps also suggested former Aston Villa defender Jordan Amavi, whose time in England was blighted by a similar serious problem, is very much in his thoughts.

“He’s a candidate for the position, but there are others too. He came into the squad because there were others who were out,” the coach said. “I picked him because I thought he offered me the best guarantees.”

France are next in action on March 23, when they host Colombia, before going to Russia for a friendly four days later.