Real Madrid: 3 things for Ferland Mendy to improve on

Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

An increase in defensive actions

Ferland Mendy is such a great player already that there aren’t may areas for him to improve beyond better attacking output and technical quality in the final third, but it is interesting to note that he is last among all starters in the team in a few key defensive metrics.

Per, Mendy averages 7.37 ball recoveries per 90 minutes, which is eighth on the team and behind Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, and Raphael Varane among defenders. He is 13th in tackles won and 11th in interceptions. Finally, he is 15th in aerial duels won, winning just 37.4 percent of his aerial duels.

Fullbacks at Real Madrid are expected to press in the final third and turn defense into attack, which Carvajal and Vazquez have done an excellent job of on the right-hand side this season. Mendy is so hard to catch out, like Varane, he won’t average too many tackles because he takes up such good positions. But you’d then expect him to match Varane in ball recoveries and interceptions, though this is not the case. He’s better aerially than Marcelo, but Isco and Eden Hazard are the only other Real Madrid regulars who are worse than Mendy.

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So while Mendy is a great defensive player who more than passes the eye test, no player is perfect. Mendy could stand to be more active defensively, particularly when you note how much better the other fullbacks are at winning the ball back for the team. He is well behind Marcelo, Carvajal, and Vazquez in tackles and pressures in the final third