Know Your Players: Benjamin Mendy, Eric García, Tyler Toland
Benjamin Mendy has recently made a promise to all Manchester City fans. Want to know what it is? Whether it be updates or just good old fun facts, we’re just the ones to keep you in the know about your favourite Manchester City footballers through our Know Your Players series. In this week’s edition, let’s take a look at our class defender Benjamin Mendy, and young City champions Eric García and Tyler Toland!
Number 22 in City’s line-up, Benjamin Mendy came into Manchester City in 2017 with guns blazing, delivering a fantastic debut season that ended all too quickly due to a serious knee injury. The French footballer’s repeated injuries led to much-needed recovery periods, but now, he’s back – focused and hungrier than ever to deliver all he’s got. Since he’s been patient with his recuperation and consistent with his training, we’ll surely get to see more of Mendy, very soon.
- Mendy had a strong start when he joined our Blues – his first five games were all victories, and four of them were clean sheets*!
- In his 31 Premier League appearances so far, he’s had a 71% tackle success rate.
- He’s the life of the party. After City’s glorious Carabao Cup victory earlier in March, Mancunian music legend Noel Gallagher joined our athletes to celebrate, and guess who was the first to sing along with the Rockstar as his hit single ‘Wonderwall’ played on the speakers? The ever-animated Benjamin Mendy!
- During his recovery period, he’s named fellow Cityzen Kevin De Bruyne as someone who’s given him ambition and aims to rival the Belgian in assists. More than anything, that’s often what teammates are for – healthy competition!
- Earlier in May, he told Sky Sports his game plan for when the League resumes. “I want to fight and I want to show why City wanted to sign me. I worked hard to come back and why not more? Because every day we can improve. Honestly, we have not seen the real Mendy yet at Man City.”
*Clean sheet: A game in which the opposing team does not manage to score a single goal.
Eric García is one of City’s younger footballers. A defender playing at Number 50, the Spaniard joined City in summer of 2017. There never is much hype or fanfare when teenage players are signed, but don’t let his age fool you – his passion for football exceeds his mature demeanour, always respectful of his more-experienced peers but never shy to demonstrate his understanding of the game.
- Before City, he’d been with Barcelona FC since seven years of age, captaining every youth team and playing with older age groups.
- After his impressive performance in the 2-0 win against Sheffield United in January, City is as keen as ever to keep him longer and watch him grow as a mainstay.
- In 2018, after a match against Borussia Dortmund, MCFC Manager Pep Guardiola was quoted saying, “Eric García is 17 or 18 and played like he is 24 or 25.” Even fellow defender Kyle Walker shared how García could very well be a manager one day, as time and time again he’s displayed maturity beyond his years.
- The centre-back also helps out at City Football Academy, coaching the youth groups with the goal of earning his UEFA Pro License. “Three years ago, four years ago, I started thinking that I would like to have the coaching badges in the future,” he told The Athletic in January.
- In January of last year, City had proposed the possibility of him going out on loan during winter to gain experience with a different club, but García refused as he wanted to stay at the Etihad and win a place in Guardiola’s starting 11. At the rate he’s going, this looks to happen much sooner than later!
Third on our list today is another young City star, Tyler Toland! As a child, she’s always had one dream: to one day play professional football. Now playing at Number 12 in Manchester City Women’s Team, the midfielder has known the value of sacrifice to make one’s dreams a reality since the start of her journey, which makes her as much an inspiration to her teammates as she is to her native Ireland.
- In 2017, Toland made her World Cup debut at 16 years old and is the youngest player ever to represent the Republic of Ireland’s senior team!
- She scored her first international goal in September of last year, in a match against Montenegro.
- Her big move to Manchester was quite overwhelming, and she credits her fellow Republic of Ireland international and Cityzen Megan Campbell for helping her settle in. “I was always chatting to Megan and saying that I would love to get a move to England. We were discussing it at the last couple of camps with Ireland and the opportunity to move just came about,” she said.
- She officially joined City on 9th of August 2019, a day after her 18th “If anyone had asked me what I wanted to do when I was in school, I always said I wanted to be a professional footballer. When I signed, I said [to myself] a dream had become a reality, and to hold up a City shirt with my name on the back of it was just incredible.”
The next time you need some info on our footballers, you needn’t look far – we’ve got the essentials for you right here. So, tune in next week as we’ll be back with more fun facts!
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