ChelseaClub News

Édouard Mendy reflects on Chelsea’s defensive resilience

Following a couple of disappointments showcased by the current Chelsea No. 1 jersey holder Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Blues’ were forced to fork out to acquire the services of former Rennes goalkeeper Édouard Mendy in a deal worth £22 million.

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However, since the arrival of the 29 year old Sengalese shot stopper, he has improved Chelsea’s defense by making vital saves and also improved Chelsea’s flaws in terms of set pieces by making good use of his 6 feet 6 in. height to claim high balls.

Édouard Mendy managed to keep 16 clean sheets in 31 Premier League outings for the current UEFA Champions League holders and also boasts of keeping 25 clean sheets in 45 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions.

Édouard Mendy’s nine clean sheets in the just concluded UEFA Champions League campaign was enough for him to break the record for the most clean sheets in a debut Champions League campaign, he also equalled the record for the most UEFA Champions League clean sheets by a goalkeeper in a single season as he ties with Santiago Cañizares and Keylor Navas, who both had nine clean sheets for Valencia and Real Madrid respectively, back in 2000/2001 and 2015/2016.

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Mendy’s tally in his debut season proved to be an upgrade on Arrizabalaga’s. Kepa only managed to keep eight clean sheets in 33 Premier League games and 10 clean sheets in 41 matches across all competitions for Chelsea in the season prior to Mendy’s debut season (2019/2020).

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s debut season which happens to be his best season in a Chelsea shirt saw him keep 14 clean sheets in 36 Premier League outings and 23 clean sheets in 54 appearances across all competitions whilst managing a 67.5 save percentage.

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Édouard Mendy on the other hand boasts of an impressive 70.5% save percentage in his debut season at Chelsea while Kepa managed an underwhelming save percentage of 54.5% in his final season as Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper (2019/2020).

Édouard Mendy’s passing ability is quite appealing as the former Rennes goalkeeper completed 749 of his 899 attempted passes, hereby boasting of a staggering pass completion percentage of 83% in his first season at the club (Chelsea).

Kepa on the other hand completed 748 of his 938 attempted passes in his second season at Chelsea, which however means that the Spanish shot stopper also boasts of a jaw-dropping 80% passes completed percentage.

However, despite the upgrade Édouard Mendy brings to Chelsea’s goalkeeping department, he believes that team work has been the secret of his success at the club as he reiterates that the defense also had their role to play.

“It’s been a fantastic year,”says Osoque

“Now, we need to keep going. We need to question everything; we need to start from scratch. What we did was good, but we need to leave that to one side and keep setting other goals, keep progressing, and keep striving to make this club better.

“For me the most important thing is to be the best for my team,’

“Being the best for my club means being the best every day and being the best I can on the pitch, helping my team to win trophies. I’ve progressed every year, and I did last year too, and that’s something I want to do every year; it’s something I want all the time.

“I strive to progress, to be the best for my team, and in particular, to keep winning trophies for this club.”

“The defence works as a team. It is not just down to me or the defenders in front of me.

“It is defensive teamwork that starts with the strikers and finishes with me. We see very well when we press that we are very active when we recover very high balls.

“And, when the opponent has possession, we see that we are a difficult block to get through because the whole line moves very well and it’s very difficult to get through our block.”

Édouard Mendy took his clean sheet tally at Chelsea to 26, following Chelsea’s three nil victory against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in their Premier League opener.

Mendy will look to extend his clean sheet tally as Chelsea lock horns with Arsenal on the 22nd of August at the Emirates stadium.

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