'We train together and support each other' – Kepa close with Mendy despite Chelsea rivalry
Kepa Arrizabalaga has revealed that he is close with Senegal international Edouard Mendy despite the Chelsea rivalry between the pair.
Mendy, 29, was signed from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in a £22m ($31m) deal as the six-time English top-flight kings sought to find greater solidity between the sticks as costly errors had crept into the Spaniard’s game.
The Senegal star has since proven to be one of the bargain signings, helping the Blues win the Champions League and the Uefa Super Cup.
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The Spain international was brought into Thomas Tuchel’s side in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur after the African was unable to shake off an injury suffered against Zenit St Petersburg.
Asked how he gets along Mendy, Arrizabalaga said in his latest Chelsea interview: “Edou and I have a very good relationship.
“We are training together every day and support each other whoever is playing.
“You could see in the Super Cup the relationship we have, he was one of the first players to congratulate me after the penalty shoot-out and of course we celebrated together.
“Hopefully he can return to training soon from his injury.”
He also described his return to action as "perfect", with a clean sheet and three points to show for his efforts against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.
“I was really happy to help the team,” he continued.
“It’s been quite a while since I played in the Premier League, so I was happy for the opportunity to help the team.
“To come into the side in such a big game like this, a London derby, and to keep a clean sheet and get the three points, it’s perfect really!
“It was a London derby, so we knew it was a big game against a very good team, so to get the win was fantastic and we are all so happy.”
Meanwhile, manager Tuchel delivered an update on the injury which kept Mendy out of Chelsea's derby win at Tottenham.
"We tried throughout the week and on Saturday in training it was so-so,” he told the media.
"It comes from the last-minute kick against Zenit in the Champions League.
"It is very painful and he did not feel 100 per cent comfortable going for a full stretch or to land on it. He didn't feel comfortable to fight at set-pieces or corners.
"So we decided to go with 100 per cent and that was Kepa and have Edou with us to be supportive and have good energy.”