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‘Mendy's hands bigger than my head and he wants to play’ – Ex-Chelsea coach Morris

09:34 IST 28/11/2021
Edouard Mendy Chelsea Juventus Champions League 2021-22
The ex-Blues coach believes the 29-year-old Senegal international is a top goalkeeper who has room to become even better

Former Chelsea assistant coach Jody Moris has labelled Edouard Mendy as a top goalkeeper who has the ability to become even better.

The 29-year-old Senegal custodian is currently enjoying a good run of form with the Blues since his transfer to Stamford Bridge.

Having joined from Rennes on a five-year contract in September 2020, he went ahead to claim Uefa Champions League glory after the Blues beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final on May 29, 2021.

During the final, Mendy became the first African goalkeeper to play in a final of the Champions League and the first in Europe's top club competition since Bruce Grobbelaar, who appeared in the 1985 European Cup final.

He also equaled the record for the most clean sheets in a Champions League season, nine, the same as Santiago Canizares in 2000-01 and Keylor Navas in 2015-16.

So far since joining Chelsea, Mendy has managed 36 clean sheets accumulated from 61 appearances.

According to Morris, who played for Chelsea, Leeds United, Rotherham United, Millwall, St Johnstone, and Bristol City, before being named Frank Lampard's assistant at Derby County in 2018 and Chelsea in 2019, the lanky Mendy has room to improve even further because “he wants to play” football.

“Mendy’s a top keeper. Every day there’s a smile on his face but he’s demanding, he’s a fantastic size, his hands are bigger than my head and he also wants to play, he doesn’t want to just launch it and I still think there’s room to improve as well. That’s scary,” Morris said as quoted by The Sunday Times.

“It has to be difficult for Kepa [Arrizabalaga] because of the level of performance of Mendy since he’s come in - for us and especially for Tuchel. He hasn’t been that busy but all of a sudden will go, bang, bang, and make a couple of outstanding saves.

“If there’s a better goalkeeper in Europe at the minute, I’m not sure.”

In a recent interview, Mendy revealed his relationship with Arrizabalaga is not strained despite him taking the number one spot at the club.

“My relationship with Kepa is very good, as is my relationship with Marcus [Bettinelli], the third goalkeeper at Chelsea. We compete with interest,” Mendy said.

“The most important thing is that the competition between the players is for the benefit of the team. The titles are for the club and not for the player. My relationship with my teammates is very good. I respect everyone and there is always a state of friendship between us.”

Mendy will hope to keep another clean sheet when Chelsea take on Manchester United in a Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.