Edoaurd Mendy has vowed to “fight” Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero at Chelsea, with the Senegal international taking nothing for granted when it comes to the Blues’ starting goalkeeper post.
A shot-stopper snapped up by Frank Lampard during the summer of 2020 has been a go-to option between the sticks at Stamford Bridge this season, with Thomas Tuchel keeping him as No.1 since inheriting the managerial reins in west London.
Kepa, a £71 million ($100m) asset, has seen game time as well, though, while experienced Argentine Caballero has been a reliable performer whenever handed competitive minutes.
What has been said?
Mendy is aware that he faces fierce competition for places at Chelsea, telling the club’s official website: “I fight with Kepa but with Willy as well.
“The coach has said that he needs three strong goalkeepers. We need to be ready and we have to show it to start on the pitch.”
How has Mendy fared this season?
The 28-year-old was lured away from Rennes in a £22m ($31m) deal as Chelsea sought to find greater stability between the sticks.
Costly errors had crept into Kepa’s game, with the Spaniard slipping down the pecking order as a result.
Mendy settled quickly in English football and kept clean sheets through his opening six games for the Blues.
That tally of shutouts has since been raised to 15, with the most recent coming in a notable 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of a heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter.
The bigger picture
Mendy will be hoping to figure prominently from this point as Chelsea continue to chase down European glory alongside a top-four bid in the Premier League and a hunt for FA Cup glory.
The big tests keep on coming, with a visit from Manchester United on Sunday set to be followed by a trip to Liverpool, but Tuchel has made a positive impact on a side that struggled for consistency under Lampard.
Mendy has added on his new German boss: “The coach gives confidence to all the players. We know what he wants so when we are on the pitch, we have to show why he has chosen us.
“He is very expressive and he shows when he likes something. When you do well on the pitch, every day at training and in the games, he pushes you. He stays positive but he also shows his determination, which is good for me and the team.”