Chelsea has identified Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as a potential replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga as the Blues’ No. 1.
Edouard Mendy is an unlikely an option as you’ll find for Chelsea as most fans would never have associated him with one of Europe’s top clubs. However, a deal for the 28-year-old is expected to be completed by next week and a fee between £20-25 million is currently being negotiated between the two sides.
Talks are currently in an advanced stage with Rennes President, Nicholas Holveck, admitting that Mendy wants to join Chelsea. But who is Mendy and why is Chelsea signing him? Before diving into the player, let me explain Chelsea’s goalkeeping situation
It’s clear that Lampard does not see Kepa Arrizabalaga in his long term plans as he had benched him several times last season. In an ideal world, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper would be sold and replaced by a well-known and trustworthy goalkeeper this summer. However, with COVID-19 affecting the financial situation of teams around the world, there are no suitors for him—not even on a loan.
Having spent around £200 million on transfers already and unable to offload Arrizabalaga, Chelsea is left with few options available on the market. Therefore, the Blues have looked for a goalkeeper who excels in the areas in which Arrizabalaga has struggled. His biggest weaknesses are his shot-stopping ability and his ability to have a commanding presence in the box.
Mendy is six-foot-six—five inches taller than Arrizabalaga—and has a reputation for being an extremely commanding goalkeeper, which is exactly what Chelsea missed last season. He is also an above average shot-stopper, boasting a save percentage of 78.4, making him the third best in Ligue 1. How his statistics will translate to the Premier League, however, is the big question.
Mendy has an admirer in Chelsea legend Petr Cech, who currently occupies the role of technical and performance advisor at the club. The fact that Cech has been consulted before opening talks with Rennes and Mendy should assure Chelsea fans of the Senegalese keeper’s quality.
Joining Chelsea would be a wonderful moment for Mendy, who just five years ago was unemployed and close to quitting football forever. Since then, he has shown great mental strength to reach a level where he is drawing interest from one of the best teams in the world. This shows that when faced with challenges in the Premier League, Mendy will not let it affect his confidence and mentality.
Mendy is nowhere near being a world class goalkeeper, but he is much better than anything Chelsea currently has. He is a cheap option who can become Chelsea’s second goalkeeper when the club can eventually offload Arrizabalaga and buy a new goalkeeper for the long-term.
With Mendy and Arrizabalaga competing for the spot to be Chelsea’s No. 1 goalkeeper, fans can be assured that both men will be giving their best at all times throughout the season. The signing of Mendy will be similar to that of Thiago Silva; both are stopgap signings who are temporary solutions to Chelsea’s defensive problems. All while the club works behind the scenes to identify and secure their top targets in each department.
Mendy has just entered his peak, and will be hoping that he can make the big step up to the Premier League and have a memorable career at Chelsea. After the disaster that Arrizabalaga has been over the last year, Chelsea fans will surely be hoping for the same.