Chelsea might have found a rare gem in Edouard Mendy. Mendy was signed from Rennes on the summer transfer window for just £22 million to provide competition to the club no 1, Kepa Arrizabalaga. He has since usurped the out-of-form shot-stopper.
Mendy was signed in a move to arrest the overall poor defensive performance of the Chelsea team last season. They conceded a whooping 54 goals, worse than any team in the top half of the league table. Kepa was the chief culprit with his questionable decision making and poor goalkeeping ability. He failed to transmit any form of confidence to the fragile backline ahead of him.
Chelsea’s boss still trusted Kepa with some chances to prove himself this season, but he failed to convince with the same old failings. He was poor and naïve against Brighton, West Brom, and crucially against Southampton. This time he committed a blunder failing to clear the ball following an error from Zouma half-hit back pass. This led to a goal. And Lampard must have lost his confidence in him at this point.
Mendy made his Premier League bow in Chelsea 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace, a match in which he was rarely threatened. This will be Chelsea first clean sheet of the season.
Lampard has to bring in Edouard Mendy following his recovery from an injury sustained during AFCON Qualifiers. He then produced an impressive man-of-the-match performance against Sevilla in the first match of the Champions League.
Though the match ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw, Chelsea has their new goalkeeper to thank for standing tall and making some impressive saves to preserve the game against one of the most feared teams in Europe.
Mendy followed this performance with another scintillating performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford. His excellent saves against Rashford and Juan Mata’s efforts preserved the game. The match will end in a 0-0 draw thanks to his heroics. He will draw adulations from the Chelsea boss.
In a match in which the Chelsea attack created very few chances, Manchester United was far more threatening. Based on the current form, Manchester United could have scored one or two goals if Kepa was between the sticks.
Alongside fellow new defensive recruits, Thiago Silva, and Ben Chilwell, Mendy has kept three clean sheets in his first four matches in Chelsea jersey.
Mendy has already kept two clean sheets in his first two Premier League match, a record held by former Chelsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech. Unsurprisingly, Cech would play a pivotal role in convincing Chelsea to sign him.
It has been a meteoric rise for the 28-year-old Senegalese star after initial difficulty. He was unemployed in 2014 after leaving Cherbourg. The team was relegated to the French fourth tier. He was not even their first-choice goalkeeper, rather spending most of the time on the bench. He decided to be training with Le Havre while unemployed to keep fit.
In 2015, he will secure a move to Marseille to become their fourth-choice goalkeeper. A further move to the second division side, Reims in 2016, and then recently to Rennes in 2019 followed. He became a revelation at Rennes. Mendy helped Rennes to third place in the French League in his only season at the club. before Chelsea came calling.
Petr Cech, Chelsea technical director is also a former Chelsea and Rennes goalkeeper. He convinced both Chelsea and Mendy to sign. This could be one of the most shrewd pieces of business in the Premier League this season.
Chelsea paid a mammoth fee to bring in Kepa, a £71 million signing from Athletic Bilbao. That deal is three times costlier than what it took it to sign Mendy. But Mendy is proving that money does not always buy you, love.