Benjamin Mendy has made more of an impact off the pitch than on it since signing for Manchester City in the summer. A cruciate ligament injury picked up in September has ruined the Frenchman’s season and also threatens to ruin his World Cup dreams.

L’Equipe have been keeping a close eye on Mendy’s rehabilitation, and the player’s genuine hard work in Barcelona. Now back in Manchester, things are looking rather positive for a return before the end of the season.

That would enable Mendy to prove his fitness and then force his way into Didier Deschamps’ plans for Russia.

Mendy is working six hours every day at Manchester City, going through a series of exercises with ‘Jimbo’ the physio. One of those involves using an exercise bike in a room which is deliberately overheated, it’s not all jogging in oversized spa baths.

L’Equipe say that whilst doctors won’t reveal a comeback date, the smiles which go on during the meetings with Mendy tell their own story. A friend of the player is quoted as saying “He’s on a mission”, and the French newspaper clearly believe it’s one which will see Mendy return sooner rather than later.