HomeFootball NewsBenjamin Mendy Joins Lorient After Being Cleared of Rape Charges

Benjamin Mendy Joins Lorient After Being Cleared of Rape Charges

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Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has officially signed a two-year contract with Ligue 1 club Lorient, just days after being acquitted of rape charges. The 29-year-old left-back, whose contract with Manchester City expired in the summer, will now embark on a new chapter in his career with the French club.

Mendy was cleared of all charges at Chester Crown Court last Friday, following a trial in January where he was found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. The highly rated defender, who became the world’s most expensive defender when he joined Manchester City from Monaco for £52m in 2017, can now focus on revitalizing his football career.

City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, had previously praised Mendy as “one of the world’s best full-backs” when he first arrived at the club. During his time at Manchester City, Mendy won the Premier League in his debut season and was also part of the French squad that secured victory in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

However, Mendy has not played competitive football since August 2021, with his last appearance for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur. His arrest in the same month led to a lengthy legal process, including a five-month period in custody, before his recent trial and subsequent acquittal.

Following his clearance, Mendy’s legal team acknowledged that his football career in the UK had been irreversibly affected. Despite the challenges he has faced, Mendy received support from fellow footballers, such as Memphis Depay and Vinicius Jr, who expressed their solidarity with him on social media.

Lorient, who finished 10th in Ligue 1 last season, warmly welcomed Mendy’s return to French football in an official statement. The club highlighted his achievements, including being a 2018 World Cup winner and a four-time Premier League champion with Manchester City and Monaco. Lorient’s upcoming pre-season friendly against Bournemouth on August 5 will provide Mendy with an opportunity to integrate into the team before their league campaign begins against reigning champions Paris St-Germain on August 13.

Mendy’s move to Lorient marks a fresh start for the talented left-back, allowing him to leave behind the legal challenges he has faced and focus on reigniting his football career in the familiar surroundings of French football.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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