Edouard Mendy not surprised by Chelsea teammate's recent strong performances
Edouard Mendy was full of praise for fellow Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performance during his absence due to international duty with Senegal.
Mendy has been the first-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea since his arrival from Rennes last season.
He has proved to be reliable and his winning the Best FIFA men’s goalkeeper award is just the icing on the cake.
The 29-year-old was initially brought in by former boss Frank Lampard due to Arrizabalaga’s poor form in 2019/20.
At the time, Arrizabalaga finished the season having conceded almost 10 goals than expected, according to Statsbomb (via FBRef), and was arguably one of the weak links at Chelsea.
This, however, does not seem to be the case any more.
Not only that he managed to showcase his outstanding penalty-stopping skills in recent months, but he seems to have regained his confidence between the sticks.
His significant improvements may have surprised many people but not Mendy.
“Yes, he did really well when I was [competing] in the AFCON,” the Senegal international said in Monday’s press conference.
“But it didn’t surprise me because I saw him every day at the training ground.
“I was super happy for him because he deserves it.”
About Arrizabalaga’s potentially challenging him for the number one spot, Mendy added: “When you play for Chelsea, you have competition in every position.
“So you play your best and be at your highest level to make the team at the weekend.”
Mendy’s spot in the team is likely safe at the moment, but as he pointed out, he has to perform to keep his spot in the team.
Arrizabalaga’s form is, obviously, a good sign, but this may lead to the inevitable question. Will he be content with being a number two at Chelsea or will he look for a move, either on loan or permanently, in the summer?