Ferland Mendy continues to grow at Real Madrid

Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images) /

The narrative around Ferland Mendy has always been one of a defensive stalwart, who isn’t as adept at attacking. Real Madrid‘s left-back position in recent history boasts two offensive mavericks in Roberto Carlos and more recently, Marcelo. The Brazilians may not have been the most defensive-minded players, but their ability to attack largely masked those short-comings.

When Ferland joined Real in the summer of 2019, he had quite the expectation to meet. Not a player regularly associated with having flare or an individualistic skillset, what the Frenchman did bring in his first season was a sense of solidity.

He took Marcelo’s place in the side rather quickly, ushering in a new era in the Spanish capital. Mendy had shown in France that he was capable of carrying the ball, although, his distribution and ability to create lacked when compared to that of Marcelo.

Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

His influence last season was certainly felt, Real went 29 games unbeaten when he featured and they were conceding less. Whilst that is not solely down to Mendy, he certainly played his part. Up until December of 2020, an opponent had successfully dribbled past the former Lyon man just six times.

Ferland Mendy is attempting more shots and passes for Real Madrid in the 2020-2021 season

Coming into this season, Real fans expected continued defensive dominance from him, however, he’s now added an offensive consistency to his game. Throughout the 2020/21 campaign, Mendy’s offensive statistics have improved on his debut campaign.

In LaLiga so far this campaign, Mendy is having more shots per game than he was last season – something that has also been seen in the Champions League. He’s also completing more key passes in the Champions League this season – whilst his key passes per game were better last campaign in the league, he’s attempting more passes overall in 2021/21.

Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Throughout the course of the season so far, Mendy has been regularly seen getting far more involved in the attacking side of his game. In Real’s recent clash against Atalanta, Mendy’s offensive actions proved incisive not once but twice – forcing a red card and also scoring a winning goal.

There was even his goal which was ruled out against Valencia, once again he was seen charging down the flank and into the box. What has also been an interesting development is his linking with Kroos and Benzema, with the three often seen connecting.

One such development that has also been growing is his shooting from outside the box. Despite being left-footed, Mendy has recently begun shooting from range with his weaker foot. His goal against Atalanta may have surprised some, but it isn’t something new.

In fact, Mendy has tried a shot from range with his foot 9 times in LaLiga since joining Real. Zidane did also allude to that particular play being rehearsed, albeit with Mendy not being the preferred shooter. However, given his success against Atalanta, it could be a new go-to for Real.

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The Frenchman is already seen as one of the leading full-backs in world football, as he continues to evolve, many will wonder – just how good can he become?