Only playing 80 minutes of professional football since joining Leicester from Nice over the summer, Nampalys Mendy is slowly being eased into English football by his manager Claudio Ranieri.
Teaming up with the Italian veteran once again following a spell under him at Monaco, the 24-year-old was bought for a then-club record £13m on the 3rd of July, and there is a strong chance we will see a lot more of him as the season goes on.
Having to balance Champions League football on top of the already busy English schedule, Ranieri will need to call upon his protégé at some stage, especially against teams where having two players in midfield will be insufficient.
A good friend of Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa and AS Saint-Etienne’s Bryan Dabo, Mendy used to hang out with the two before being a professional footballer, when all three were in youth teams.
Both Dabo and Kurzawa were at Aix-en-Provence, while the Leicester midfielder was at Toulon, and, speaking to L’Equipe, the Saint-Etienne man recalled some of the trouble they used to get into, mostly because of the PSG star.
He said: “We were kids, and I can tell you Layvin was the first to entertain. I remember him laughing so much. He was a bit crazy. Once, at Aix, we were even chased by a stray dog. That day, with Layvin and Papy (Nampalys Mendy), we ran so fast.”
We’re not sure how many stray dogs are in Leicester, but if there are any, it’s good to know the midfielder already has some experience in trying to avoid them.