Monaco have lost hot talents like Kylian Mbappe, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Bernardo Silva – but our friends at Football Whispers say Jorge is the perfect replacement for Mendy
MONACO’S 2016/17 was the sort of season dreams are made of. An exciting young team, unfancied by many, won Ligue 1 as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
And while they have a wealthy benefactor in Dmitry Rybolovlev, they are not yet among Europe’s elite.
As so often with teams who have a successful season, Monaco’s players were in demand by bigger clubs with teams across the continent – and domestic rivals Paris Saint-Germain – targeting their stars.
Kylian Mbappé (to PSG), Tiemoué Bakayoko (to Chelsea) and Bernardo Silva (both to Manchester City) have all left the Stade Louis II this summer.
Those departures will have left Monaco fans worried about their side’s long-term future and whether they would be able to replicate their impressive form from last campaign.
Yet, the Monegasques do not look any weaker this season.
After seven games, they have six wins and sit just one point behind league leaders PSG, having averaged three goals a game.
That is largely due to the players who have come into the team this season.
One of them is Jorge, who has replaced Mendy, and our friends at Football Whispers look at whether he is even better than him.
The 21-year-old isn’t a new arrival at Monaco this summer – he arrived in January from Flamengo after being subject of Inter Milan, Liverpool and Manchester City transfer rumours.
He made just two Ligue 1 appearances last season, but it was highly unlikely that many left-backs around could have usurped Mendy in Leonardo Jardim’s side – there was a reason Manchester City paid £49.3m to take him to the Premier League and make him the most expensive left-back in history.
But Jorge has been trusted to replace the Frenchman this summer, and he has thrived.
The Brazilian looks have learned from his half-season as Mendy’s understudy.
He has the hallmarks of the 23-year-old’s style of play, always looking to venture forward down the left wing to provide an overlap for Liverpool transfer target Thomas Lemar.
Unlike Mendy, who is predominantly left-footed, Jorge is comfortable with both feet, which means he is a nightmare for opposing full-backs, who don’t know if he’ll dribble down the outside or come inside to play a cross with his right foot.
He already has registered two league assists this season, compared to the five Mendy registered for the entirety of the 2016/17 campaign – working out at 0.29 per 90 minutes for Jorge and 0.2 for the Frenchman.
However, Mendy’s numbers from last season see the Frenchman does come out on top.
He created more chances per 90 minutes in Ligue 1(1 to 0.86), made more key passes (0.8 to 0.57) and completed more take ons (1.48 to 1.43).
Mendy also had a higher pass competition rate (76 per cent to 71 per cent), as well as being successful with more of his take ons (56.06 per cent to 52.63 per cent).
Yet, there isn’t much difference between the two of them, and this is Jorge’s first full season in Europe, whereas the historic 2016/17 campaign was Mendy’s fourth season as a regular in Ligue 1.
His defensive side undoubtedly needs work – demonstrated by the fact he has picked up three yellow cards in seven league games, while Mendy collected just six in 25 matches last season.
He can be combative and that can lead to recklessness at times, but his anticipation of the game allows him to capitalise on turnovers to put Monaco on the front foot.
The more regular football he gets, the better the defensive side of his game will become.
Best of all, while it’s still early days for Jorge at Monaco, his form so far suggests Jardim’s side won’t miss Mendy.
If the Brazilian carries on impressing like he is at the moment, there is no reason he won’t be replicating the success of the man he was an understudy for half of last season.
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