RC Lens waited until the end of the summer transfer window to get their hands on Nampalys Mendy. Free from any contract after leaving Leicester at the end of last season, the midfielder had not planned on returning to Ligue 1, but the words of Franck Haise were decisive. He reflected on the discussions with the Lens coach.
Nampalys Mendy certainly does not regret his choice. Torn about the idea of returning to Ligue 1, the midfielder has found pleasure and playing time at RC Lens thanks to a quick adaptation. His partnership with Salis Abdul Samed in midfield is working wonders much to the delight of Franck Haise, who personally got involved in this deal.
Haise sealed Mendy’s transfer
In an interview with L’Equipe, Mendy talked about his transfer and his discussions with Haise. “The first contact was in the middle of the transfer window. But after that, no more follow-up. Lens finally came back at the end of August. I spoke with Grégory Thil (the technical director), but I was still hesitant. I already knew Ligue 1 and it was a no, it was categorical in my mind. I wanted to continue abroad. But I spoke with the coach, and everything accelerated, everything became clear,” he said. And the player does not seem to regret his choice.
“What made me change my mind was mainly the man”
“We exchanged via video and I could see his sincerity. What made me change my mind was mainly the man, his honesty, his frankness. Without even talking about football, even though I had followed Lens’ journey. He didn’t promise me anything, but I saw on his face that everything he said was not just empty words. I needed a human club, and that was the turning point. And I have confirmation of that today. Here, everyone is like that,” Mendy said.
The unexpected transfer of Nampalys Mendy to RC Lens has certainly raised eyebrows, but it seems to be a decision that has worked out well for both the player and the club. Franck Haise’s personal involvement and sincerity seem to have been the key factors in convincing Mendy to make the move. And with Mendy’s impact on the team, it looks like RC Lens has made a smart and surprising acquisition.