Manchester City have suffered a huge setback after Pep Guardiola confirmed that his new £52million signing Benjamin Mendy will be out of action for ‘months’ with a knee injury.
Mendy missed Tuesday night’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk after limping off against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
The France left back will fly to Barcelona for more tests on Wednesday but Guardiola admits he fears the worst after losing Ilkay Gudogan to a knee injury for nine months last season.
“Our first impression is that it will it be a little long, longer than we expected,’ said the City boss. ‘We would miss him a lot – it would be a major setback.
‘It’s very frustrating for him. Like what happened last year with Ilkay Gundogan, I feel really sad. For the way we want to play, he is a unique player.’
Asked if Mendy’s injury will force him into the transfer market for a new defender in January, Guardiola replied: ‘We will see. We thought next summer about looking for another left back, another replacement.
‘We have alternatives in our squad in Danilo, (Fabian) Delph, Fernandinho, even (Oleksandr) Zinchenko.’
Midfielder Delph replaced Mendy on Tuesday night and expressed sympathy for his stricken team-mate.
‘It’s a massive loss,’ he said. ‘We’re all devastated he’s out injured. Hopefully it’s not too bad.’
Guardiola was delighted with the win and brushed aside questions over Sergio Aguero’s failure to convert a 72nd-minute penalty that would have seen him equal Eric Brook’s all-time scoring record for City.
‘It doesn’t matter, the next time he is going to score a goal,’ said Guardiola. ‘He doesn’t need 50 goals to break the record, just one.’