Petr Cech said he had been keeping an eye on Edouard Mendy for three years prior to the goalkeeper’s Chelsea transfer, as he opened up about how the transfer decision was made.
Chelsea’s pursuit of the 28-year-old went under the radar until Rennes manager Julien Stephen confirmed the ongoing negotiations between the two clubs back in September.
Unless you followed Ligue 1, you would likely have never heard of Mendy before his signing.
It was obvious that Chelsea were in need of a man between the sticks considering their disastrous goalkeeping record last season.
However, a goalkeeper who had just over 100 appearances in top-flight football in his career wasn’t exactly what many had in their mind.
Mendy’s five clean-sheets from six appearances in all competitions so far have proven the doubters wrong, and credit should be given to Cech (and Christophe Lollichon) who identified the Senegal international in the first place.
Cech said the Blues had a list of potential goalkeeper targets in the summer but everyone at the club, including Frank Lampard, eventually agreed on Mendy, thanks to his three-year’s worth of information about the goalkeeper.
The Chelsea technical and performance advisor told Telefoot: “We had to make sure it was someone everyone agreed on, not just me.
“It had to be the club, and especially the manager, who had to be comfortable with the choice.
“We had a list of goalkeepers. We presented it all to Frank Lampard. We talked with the scouts.
“We shared information. We gave the pros and cons of each goalkeeper.
“In the end, my knowledge of Edouard for the past three years helped.”
Despite Mendy’s convincing performances in goal so far, Cech insisted that the fans have yet to see the best of him.
“I think he’s a goalkeeper who can still improve, with his work, professionalism and desire to be better every day,” he added.
“I’m convinced he’ll improve more, and these aren’t the best performances you’ll see from Edouard Mendy.”