Chelsea needs to nail down Edouard Mendy’s place

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Edouard Mendy of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 2, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Edouard Mendy of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 2, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Given the contract discussion going on with starting goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, the club knows this season will determine the future of who is in the net for Chelsea Football Club for years to come. Since coming to west London from Rennes, Mendy has done nothing but impress. But after a tough preseason and several blunders in the Premier League last year, it is Mendy’s time to solidify himself as the best of the best—not only in the English top flight but across the globe.

Last season, Mendy had the third-highest save percentage and conceded the fewest goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League. His control with the ball at his feet is essentially the only problem that he has encountered thus far. Otherwise, he has continued to come up with massive saves when the Blues need him the most. From helping to lead the Senegal National Team to the World Cup for just the third time in the country’s history to slotting in a pressure position at one of the most demanding clubs in the world almost seamlessly, Mendy continues to prove the people who counted him out just a few years ago wrong.

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Chelsea needs to nail down Edouard Mendy’s place with a new deal soon

When the Blues signed the Senegalese shot-stopper, Chelsea intended him to challenge Kepa Arrizabalaga for the top spot between the sticks. However, he has done more than that since coming in, all on wages of around £52,000 a week. This is compared to his No. 2, Arrizabalaga, who is currently earning £150,000 per week. Michy Batshuayi, Emerson Palmieri and Baba Rahman all earn more than the player that starts in goal for the club week in and week out.

The Blues need to compensate Mendy with wages that match his importance to the team. Despite there being three years left on his contract, Chelsea needs to lock Mendy down for years to come with the supply of quality goalkeepers around the world at a premium.

Even though the Blues are in desperate need of a striker and N’Golo Kante and Jorginho’s contracts are up at the end of the season, Mendy’s new deal has to be near the top of the priority list. Chelsea’s No. 1 priority at the moment is trying to end the transfer window with a statement signing along the front line. When the book is closed on that, the Blues need to show Mendy some appreciation with adequate compensation for two stellar seasons at Stamford Bridge.

In 94 appearances in the net for Chelsea, Mendy has collected 49 clean sheets and allowed just 69 goals in those outings. Compared to the Blues’ last superstar shot-stopper, Thibaut Courtois, Mendy has six more clean sheets than the Belgian in the last two seasons. He has allowed an astounding 20 fewer goals than the Real Madrid goalkeeper in all competitions between 2020 and 2022. In just his first season in the Premier League, Mendy saw no adjustment period, putting together a season with a jaw-dropping 51.6 percent clean sheet percentage—second only to Manchester City No. 1, Ederson.

While his numbers across the board did dip a little in his second season, they were far above average. Seeing as Arrizabalaga is subject of interest with Napoli in Serie A, Chelsea needs to make it clear who its No. 1 goalkeeper is when it comes financial side of things. There is always going to be a difference between what Mendy wants and what the club is willing to give him at the end of the day, but all that matters is that they get a deal done.

The original talks between the Blues and Mendy have brought to light how much disparity there is between the two sides. The goalkeeping camp at Chelsea is more than just cloudy when it comes to individuals behind Mendy, but before the Blues go out and search for a replacement for Arrizabalaga should he chooses to leave, Mendy needs to receive what he deserves as the first choice between the sticks.

There are plenty of arguments for why this is something that should not be in the foreground of the plans for the Blues due to all the issues in other places. Arrizabalaga failed when he was given the chance, but Chelsea has been able to find a diamond in the rough in Mendy, who nearly quit the sport altogether in 2014. Finding a difference-maker between the sticks who is a personable individual, as well as a leader on and off the pitch, is difficult at the end of the day.

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Mendy’s wages should reflect the work he has done for the club during his tenure. Right now, they are far from an accurate representation. As the Premier League season gets underway, Chelsea needs to realize how lucky it is to have Mendy on its roster. When it does, a deal needs to be completed for the sake of a player who exceeds expectations time and time again.