Mendyl added to Schalke ranks

FC Schalke 04 have bolstered their defensive options ahead of the new Bundesliga campaign with the capture of Hamza Mendyl on a five-year contract from Lille.

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The Gelsenkirchen outfit was looking to bring in more cover on the left side of defence after Bastian Oczipka underwent surgery last month on a groin problem.

Oczipka was first-choice at left-back for Domenico Tedesco’s side last term, having made 26 starts in the Bundesliga with another three appearances off the bench.

The Royal Blues had been linked with a move for England international Danny Rose recently, but have settled on their long-term target instead.

Mendyl spent just one season in the first team at Les Dogues after graduating from their youth system in 2017, although he originally hails from the Mohammed VI Academy in Morocco.

Despite featuring just 12 times in Ligue 1 for LOSC, the 20-year-old defender was still included in Morocco’s squad for the 2018 World Cup, but didn’t play in any of their three matches in Russia.

Mendyl will provide competition for Baba Rahman at the Veltins-Arena in the absence of Oczipka, and the youngster is looking to make an impact under Tedesco.

“I’m delighted to have signed for such a big club,” he said on the club’s Twitter account.

“With Domenico Tedesco, I’ve got a coach who is renowned for improving players. I want to keep developing and play an important role in all three campaigns for Schalke 04 this season.”

Speaking to Schalke’s official website, Tedesco added: “We have been monitoring Hamza for a while now and are very happy to have closed the deal.

“He provides exactly what we want from a left back – athleticism, dynamism, solidity and attacking impetus. We are hugely excited to elevate this great talent to the next level.”