Digimagaz.com – Former Manchester City defender, Benjamin Mendy, has completed a move to Ligue 1 club Lorient, just five days after being cleared of rape allegations.

The 29-year-old left-back, whose contract with Manchester City expired in the summer, has inked a two-year deal with the French side. Mendy was acquitted of rape charges and an attempted rape at Chester Crown Court last Friday, following a previous trial in January where he was cleared of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

In 2017, Benjamin Mendy became the world’s most expensive defender when Manchester City secured his services for £52 million from Monaco. Upon his arrival, City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, hailed him as “one of the world’s best full-backs.” During his time with the Premier League giants, Mendy won the Premier League title in his debut season and later went on to be a part of the victorious French squad in the 2018 World Cup held in Russia.

However, Mendy’s last competitive appearance was in August 2021 when he played for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur. Subsequently, he was arrested later that month and remained in custody for five months before facing his first trial last August. When the initial jury failed to reach a verdict on two counts of rape and attempted rape, a re-trial was conducted, eventually leading to his recent acquittal.

Throughout the legal proceedings, Mendy’s legal team, led by Eleanor Laws KC, asserted that his life, especially in the context of football in the UK, had been completely transformed.

After being cleared of all charges, Benjamin Mendy received support from various high-profile players, including Netherlands forward Memphis Depay and Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr, who expressed their solidarity with him on social media.

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Lorient, who finished 10th in Ligue 1 last season, joyfully welcomed Mendy back to French football in an official statement: “Benjamin Mendy, the 2018 world champion, quadruple winner of the Premier League with Manchester City, and Ligue 1 champion with Monaco, joins Lorient to reinforce the squad for the upcoming season. Welcome Benjamin.”

In preparation for the new season, Lorient will engage in a pre-season friendly against Bournemouth on 5 August, and their league campaign will commence against champions Paris St-Germain on 13 August.

 

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