Comparing Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy and Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson
This season has proven to be a brilliant one for full-backs so far with a number of defenders flourishing in their roles. The likes of Benjamin Mendy, Andrew Robertson, Marcus Alonso, Cedric Soares, Ben Chilwell and Patrick Van Aanholt have all excelled in their roles.
Nowadays, the full-backs play a vital role in the squad. They are also expected to slot into different systems and formations to provide teams with width and pace on the flanks. Wide players are capable of stretching defenders out of their zone and offering the attackers more freedom in space.
So far, two full-backs who have thrived in their respective systems is Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy and Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson. While the Liverpool star has already made a name for himself with his performances last season, Mendy, who joined City for £52m, has been reaping the praise this time out.
Both are extremely talented defenders who are capable of playing in a number of roles and systems. The early debate now is – who is the better left-back?.
Robertson kicked off the campaign just the way he left it last season. He picked up an assist against West Ham United on the opening day. He came into the Liverpool side as a relatively unknown figure but has since gone onto become a revelation for Klopp and the Reds.
Robertson is a diligent and sound defender who is very much committed to doing his part on the left flank. In the two games the Scot has played so far, he has a 100% tackle success rate. He made a total of 6 tackles so far, winning every single one of them. A very hard defender to get past, Robertson’s agility and aggression make him one of the best left-backs in the league.
The 24-year-old Scottish full-back is also capable of surging forward to support the attack. He has whipped in a total of 2 crosses and created 2 big chances for the team. But Robertson has to be on spot with his positional play.
Since Klopp uses a back-four system, the Scot has to constantly track back whenever required. But with the kind of stamina and endurance he possesses, it seems like an easy task for the player. (Stats courtesy – Premier League)
Benjamin Mendy, on the other hand, plays a completely different role. City manager Pep Guardiola likes his full-backs to provide all the support that the attack needs. He deploys a back-three system, which gives the Frenchman a lot more freedom to stay forward.
The former Monaco full-back has since gone on to supply 3 assists in his first two games. While Robertson has provided just 2 crosses, Mendy supplied a total of 16 in his first two games.
The fact that there are three central defenders at the back, allows the full-back to stay forward more often and support the attack. But interestingly, Mendy was only able to provide 1 big chance in his two games. (Stats Courtesy – Premier League)
While both players will definitely contend for a place in the PFA team of the season. Only time will tell who will come out on top. Stats only tell you half the story and given that both left-backs are deployed in different roles, it’s hard to pick who is the superior one. But both are definitely going to play a crucial role for their clubs this season.