Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy has discussed the difficulty of playing against teammate Raheem Sterling after facing off against the England international numerous times at youth level.
Mendy is currently sidelined with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and has taken the time to sit down with mancity.com in order to talk about his new colleague - who he had to play against frequently at international level:
“Raheem has been annoying me since we were kids!” he told the club's official website.
“We started to play against each other when we were 16 in France v England games. We met again at 17 during the European Championship. We played again against each other at U20 and U21 level and now at senior level. Then, of course, Monaco v City last season."
And now the two finally get to feature alongside each other, with Mendy admitting that he much prefers to be on the same team as Sterling rather than against him.
“We know each other very, very well. I prefer to play with him, it’s better!
“He told me the same when I arrived. It’s the first thing he told me!”
With Mendy out of action until April, Pep Guardiola might be forced to search for a replacement in the January transfer window. Both Aleksandr Kolarov and Gael Clichy left the Citizens this summer, leaving Mendy as the only specialist left back in the squad.
While Fabian Delph has already filled in for Mendy on the left side of defence, and new signing Danilo is capable of taking up the position, it remains to be seen as to whether Guardiola views this as a long term option.