'He's been great': Graham Potter very impressed with 30-year-old Chelsea player he's not picked yet

Graham Potter has heaped praise on Edouard Mendy in his Chelsea pre-match press conference.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper is one of the few first team players yet to feature since the former Brighton man joined the club.

The Senegal international was injured following an incident in the game against West Ham, Thomas Tuchel’s last league match in charge.

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This led to Kepa Arrizabalaga being the man between the sticks for the first few games of Potter’s reign.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the Spaniard has been extremely impressive, notching up six starts in a row for the Blues, including five in five under the new manager.

Despite not yet having the opportunity to show what he can do on the pitch, Potter has claimed that he is been a true professional behind the scenes.

Potter praises Mendy

He said: “He’s been great, attitude fantastic, supporting the team. He was injured when I arrived, Kepa has played well. Situation now, we have competition. You need that to push each other along.”

It is likely that the Spain international will continue between the sticks this weekend against Aston Villa, with him yet to offer a route back into the side for Mendy.

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It would take some believing if it was said 12 months ago that the former European goalkeeper of the year was being kept out of the side by Kepa, who had been left out in the cold for so long since Mendy’s introduction.

However, Potter made it clear in his press conference that the few players who are yet to appear under him have not done so through any fault of their own, instead have just fallen foul of unfortunate circumstances.

When Mendy is eventually given an opportunity, he will need to ensure he is back to his best in order to hold off Kepa’s charge.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.