Why Chelsea should push hard for goalkeeper Edouard Mendy
According to The Sun, Chelsea have had a £15million bid turned down by French club Rennes for in-demand shot-stopper Edouard Mendy. The 28-year-old has been recommended to Blues boss Frank Lampard by Christophe Lollichon, who currently serves as the club’s goalkeeping head in France. (h/t The Sun)
Chelsea, though, are expected to return with a better offer for the Senegalese international, who has a contract with Rennes until the summer of 2023.
It has also been claimed that Lampard is keen to bring Mendy to Stamford Bridge this summer to provide under-fire Kepa Arrizabalaga with some quality competition between the sticks.
Born in Normandy, France, to parents from Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, Edouard Mendy started his professional career with Cherbourg in the French third-tier before joining Stade Reims in Ligue 2.
The 28-year-old played a key role in Reims’ promotion-winning 2017-18 campaign in the second division, starring with 18 clean sheets in 34 appearances. Mendy subsequently proved his credentials as a quality show-stopper in Ligue 1 and was snapped up by Rennes back in the summer of 2019.
The Senegalese star was instrumental as Rennes finished 3rd in the curtailed 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign. He conceded just 31 goals in 33 games across all competitions and managed as many as 13 clean sheets.
A full international for Senegal since 2018, Mendy has accumulated 8 senior caps for his nation and was a part of the squad for the Teranga Lions that finished runners-up to Algeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Why Mendy would be ideal for Chelsea
Chelsea’s goalkeeping situation currently remains volatile after Kepa Arrizabalaga’s spectacular failure in the previous campaign. The Spaniard’s credentials as the club’s No.1 has been called into question numerous times over the past 12 months. Lampard even opted to start 38-year-old Willy Caballero in goal on certain occasions.
Kepa’s calamitous form in the Premier League last season has been well documented by the numbers. According to Sofascore, the 25-year-old’s dismal save ratio of 54 per cent stands worst among all PL goalkeepers to have played 1000+ minutes last season.
Suffice to say, Chelsea need more competition in goal to push Kepa for the No.1 role and Edouard Mendy could be a handy addition. The 28-year-old’s impressive rise to stardom in Ligue 1 from a rookie in the lower divisions speaks volumes of his talent and mentality as a professional.
In fact, Mendy averaged more saves per game (2.5) in Ligue 1 as compared to Kepa, who averaged only 1.7 saves per game in the PL last term. Also, the Senegalese star’s save percentage of 76 last term puts him head and shoulders above Kepa (54 per cent) in that regard.
Standing at 6ft 5in, Mendy is certainly a lot taller than Kepa. The Spaniard has been quite awful when it comes to coming out of his line to claim or punch crosses during dead-ball situations, as evident from his double blunder in Chelsea’s 3-2 loss away at West Ham. Hence, Mendy’s daunting physicality between the sticks could offer something different against more imposing opposition.
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Having spent a fortune on the likes of Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, it’s time now for Chelsea to look for some bargain deals in the summer market.
The Blues have been rebuffed in their initial approach for Edouard Mendy but they shouldn’t hesitate to put a better offer on the table for the Rennes star. The Senegalese shot-stopper still has several years remaining in his prime, so he could well be a good long-term fix for the West Londoners.