MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City left back Benjamin Mendy is set for a lengthy spell out because of injury, with manager Pep Guardiola already considering bringing in a replacement in the January transfer window.

Mendy, who joined from Monaco in the offseason for a reported 50 million pounds ($67 million), injured his right knee in City’s Premier League win over Crystal Palace on Saturday and will fly to Barcelona on Wednesday to see a specialist.

Guardiola didn’t give a timeframe for the France international’s absence but compared the setback to that suffered by Ilkay Gundogan, who has recently returned after nine months out with knee-ligament damage.

“For the way we want to play, he is a unique player,” Guardiola said Tuesday after City’s 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. “We will see in January (about potential replacements). We thought next summer about looking for another left back, another replacement.

“We have alternatives in our squad: Danilo, (Fabian) Delph, Fernandinho, even (Oleksandr) Zinchenko.”

The offseason arrival of Mendy and right back Kyle Walker, two of the most attacking full backs in Europe, has added a new dimension to City’s play going forward this season.

Mendy is City’s only out-and-out left back. Delph filled in against Shakhtar, with Danilo expected to be the long-term solution this season.


Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80