In two months, Senegalese Édouard Mendy conquered Chelsea
Édouard Mendy, Senegalese goalkeeper for Chelsea, against Rennes in the Champions League, November 4, 2020. AP - Ben Stansall
Text by: Nicolas Bamba Follow
Recruited at the end of September by Chelsea in Rennes, Édouard Mendy was quick to win in the Blues cage.
The goalkeeper continues the good performances and clean sheets (matches without conceding a goal) and relegated the former holder, Kepa Arrizabalaga, on the substitute bench.
His coach, Frank Lampard, is fully satisfied with the Senegalese debut.
Six years ago, Édouard Mendy was vegetating at the national level in France, near Cherbourg.
Today, he is a member of one of the biggest clubs in Europe, is undefeated in three Champions League matches despite his rookie status, and joins the fight at the top of the English Premier League.
It is an understatement to say that the course of the Senegalese international is atypical.
At 28, he obtained unprecedented recognition at Chelsea.
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Only two goals conceded in nine matches
This Saturday, November 21, after the last international break of the year 2020, Chelsea took control, provisionally, of the English championship, thanks to their quiet victory on Newcastle (2-0).
A fifth consecutive success obtained thanks to a little success (a goal against his camp by Federico Fernandez), efficiency (the goal of the break signed Tammy Abraham), and the impermeability of
The porter didn't have a very complicated afternoon.
The Magpies didn't really worry him, with just one shot on target in 90 minutes.
But that makes one more match at the end of which Mendy retains his clean sheet.
In nine games in all competitions, the Senegalese has remained undefeated seven times.
Only David McGoldrick with Sheffield United (in the league) and Erik Lamela with Tottenham (in the League Cup) managed to defeat his vigilance.
The most severe will argue that, so far, the Blues rookie has not yet faced a lot of surface terrors in nine matches: he delivered a big performance against a cador, Manchester United (with superb parades against
and Juan Mata, see in the video below at 00'32, 1'00 and 1'42), as well as Crystal Palace, Burnley and Newcastle in the Premier League, and Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes in Champions League.
The adversity will be more severe soon.
But in statistics as in accounting and in the impression left, Édouard Mendy undoubtedly signs an excellent start with Chelsea.
"He showed the confidence that we were looking for"
On the eve of the match against Newcastle, Frank Lampard spoke about these first steps of the one who wears the No.16.
On Norwegian television
, the Chelsea coach confirmed that it was on the advice of Petr Cech that he gave the green light to the arrival of Edouard Mendy.
The former Czech goalkeeper, himself passed through Rennes before joining Chelsea in 2004, had a hollow nose.
Because with the Blues, we encountered big goalkeeper concerns.
, recruited in 2018 from Athletic Bilbao for 80 million euros (record amount for a goalkeeper), disappointed.
The Spaniard, who succeeded Thibault Courtois in the skin of the titular goalkeeper in Chelsea, did not cross a course in England.
On the contrary, he multiplied the errors and the balls, to such an extent that the patience of the leaders and the supporters ended up being consumed.
This summer, when rumors of Chelsea's interest in Mendy began to hit the press, a sizable fringe of fans were excited.
The Senegalese was not particularly renowned like other goalkeepers in Europe, but Kepa's poor form was such that change was necessary in their eyes.
German defender Antonio Rüdiger and Senegalese goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, Chelsea teammates.
AP - Lindsey Parnaby
And since ?
Édouard Mendy was recruited for 24 million euros after a very good season in Brittany, and despite the new pressure on his shoulders, he took power within the London club.
I'm very happy with his debut and what he brings to the group,
” Frank Lampard said of him.
In early November, the former midfielder was already praising the ex-Rennais.
Calling his atypical career a "
very good story
", Lampard proclaimed: "
He showed his confidence in the goal and that's what we were looking for when we recruited him.
"A way of saying also how much it stuck between the coach and Kepa Arrizabalaga ... The latter saw the competition surpass him in a flash.
And in the English press, it is said that the Spaniard, disappointed, would like to pack up.
For Édouard Mendy, what follows will be as important as these first two months.
Eliminated from the fight for the title for three seasons, Chelsea need a last stronghold of performance over time to fulfill their ambitions in the most watched championship in the world.
After a radiant start this fall, the story between the Blues and Mendy must also shine in winter.
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