HomeFeatured ArticlesDefender Swaps Manchester City for Ligue 1 Amid Fresh Start

Defender Swaps Manchester City for Ligue 1 Amid Fresh Start

A Fresh Start for Benjamin Mendy at Lorient After Manchester City Tenure

A New Chapter in Ligue 1

Lorient, the solid Ligue 1 side, has announced the signing of Benjamin Mendy, the former Manchester City defender. This development comes only five days following Mendy’s acquittal on rape charges. The 29-year-old French left-back has embarked on a new journey with a two-year contract at Lorient, following the expiration of his contract with Manchester City this summer. As reported by BBC Sport.

Past Legal Troubles

Mendy, who last featured in a competitive match for City in August 2021, was cleared at Chester Crown Court last Friday of charges including the rape of one woman and attempted rape of another. In a previous trial in January, he had already been acquitted of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

He had been under arrest since August 2021 and remained in custody for five months before his first trial proceedings. The jury did not reach verdicts on two counts of rape and attempted rape during this period, thus necessitating a retrial which resulted in his acquittal last week.

From Record-Breaking Signing to Legal Controversy

Mendy’s arrival at City from Monaco in 2017, for an impressive £52m fee, marked him as the world’s priciest defender at the time. He was hailed by City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain as one of the top full-backs in the world.

His first season with City saw him secure the Premier League title, and he was subsequently part of the France squad that triumphed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, the image painted of Mendy during his trial led his legal team, led by Eleanor Laws KC, to declare that his “life, as he knew it, is over, in football in the UK”.

Support From the Football World

In the wake of his acquittal, Mendy saw an outpouring of support on social media from several high-profile footballers including Netherlands forward Memphis Depay and Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr.

Lorient Welcomes Mendy

Lorient announced Mendy’s return to French football, celebrating his record as a “world champion 2018, quadruple winner of the Premier League under the colours of Manchester City and French champion of Ligue 1 with Monaco”. The French side will look to Mendy to bolster their ranks for the upcoming season.

Lorient, who finished 10th in Ligue 1 last season, will face Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly on 5 August, and kick off their league campaign against reigning champions Paris St-Germain on 13 August.

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