This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
There weren’t a lot of positives to be taken away from Real Madrid’s latest bout that saw them travel away from home to Villarreal last weekend.
The Galacticos had to claw their way back into the game two times as they twice found themselves behind. Some Gareth Bale magic finally did the trick and Zinedine Zidane salvaged a point that leaves them with five in total and fifth in the table.
Not really a rosy start for the boys from the capital and they will certainly be looking to improve come the next fixture of the month, as will Barcelona who are in a slightly worse situation, .
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But not really everything was so bad either for Los Blancos. They didn’t lose and Bale slotted another two into the net but one of Real Madrid’s best performers, if not the very best, was the newcomer and debutant, Ferland Mendy.
The French left-back replaced Marcelo, who has been capped 58 times by Brazil, on the night and delivered a brilliant showing in his maiden performance. The 24-year-old tallied four tackles and four interceptions, providing more than just a solid cover for the team defensively, which, in truth, has been their bane ever since last season when they conceded a total of 46 goals throughout their campaign.
But Mendy was also offering quite a lot going the other way. He registered 88.2% passing accuracy and even sent four long balls on the night, not missing a single one in the process. To prove he was quite active offensively too, he also managed one successful dribble and two crosses into the box, posing a threat to the opposition with his marauding style.
Real Madrid might have conceded two goals on the night but Mendy, judging by the stats, did his job quite well and then some. This could pose a serious question to Zidane and his lineup choices.
Is he going to keep playing Marcelo, who, by all accounts, doesn’t really have a clean defensive record ,or has the time finally arrived for some fresh blood and something new and innovative?
If the game against Villarreal is any indication, Mendy just might become a key part of Los Blancos’ revival in the future.