Back in June, a new and unexpected name entered the rumour mill in regards to Manchester United.
That name was Nampalys Mendy – a young midfielder with Monaco whose contract was about to expire.
Suddenly those ‘new Makele’ headlines were everywhere, and things only grew more frantic when the player described United as his ‘dream club’.
The problem for David Moyes was, Mendy had no intention of turning that dream into a reality anytime soon.
“They’re the club of my dreams,” the player said. “But I want to stay in France. I’ve already made my choice.”
And so it was that a short time later it was revealed Mendy would be swapping Monaco for Nice, leaving United without another potential midfielder enforcer.
We all know what happened next, with United’s season stuttering to an end despite glimpses of a happy ending in an ultimately doomed Champions League campaign. But all the while, Mendy has impressed, racking up 38 appearances for his new club to date.
So what do they have to say about Mendy? And as United continue to be linked with William Carvalho for a reported £35million, would they have been better off pushing hard for a player who is mighty impressive in that defensive midfield role?
“With his low centre of gravity, he’s almost impossible to knock off the ball, and he reads the game so well that, when he makes a challenge, he almost always wins it,” FFW wrote.
Not exactly Marouane Fellaini is he?
But perhaps this is the most telling thing about Mendy, and the reason why United fans should despair at missing out on him: “He is the sort of player any team would dream of building around, and it is crucial to the ambition Nice are showing under new president Jean-Pierre Rivere that they don’t let Mendy slip through their fingers.”