Benjamin Mendy: one-time Sunderland target chases Champions League glory

The Monaco defender, who came close to moving under Roberto De Fanti’s 2013 recruitment drive, has developed into one of Europe’s best full-backs

Benjamin Mendy limped off during Monaco’s win over Toulouse on Saturday but probably felt he dodged a metaphorical bullet all the same. And not just because the injury is unlikely to prevent him from playing in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final against Juventus.

But also because this weekend Mendy got a stark reminder that instead of closing in on the Ligue 1 title and preparing for a mouthwatering clash with Juventus in the last four of Europe’s showpiece competition, he might have been chewing over a pitiful relegation from the Premier League. If, that is, he had joined Sunderland, which he was about to do four years ago until a last-minute twist changed his destiny.

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