Champions League

Six games, six clean sheets - Mendy is Chelsea's new star

The goalkeeper arrived in the Premier League from Rennes a virtual unknown, but he has quickly moved to establish his importance under Frank Lampard

6:30am on Saturday 7th November 2020
Robin Bairner

Edouard Mendy might have been far from the highest profile of Chelsea’s legion of summer recruits, but he is already threatening to be the most influential.

Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have added impetus to the Blues’ attack, while Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are already starters in defence, but it is Mendy who has arguably had the most tangible difference in his first month at Stamford Bridge.

That is all the time it has taken him to displace Kepa Arrizabalaga, the most expensive goalkeeper ever when he signed from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6 million just two years ago.


Job Security: One game to seal Solskjaer's fate?

Werner and James shine - Chelsea Player Ratings from Rennes victory

Has there been a Hakim Ziyech-shaped hole in Chelsea’s attack so far this season?

Mendy has played six games for Frank Lampard’s side in the Premier League and the Champions League, and he has six clean sheets.

Kepa, meanwhile, has conceded six goals in the two games he has played since Mendy’s arrival for £22m from Ligue 1 side Rennes. Indeed, the Spaniard posts a save percentage of just 57, having kept out only eight of the shots that have troubled him this season.

By contrast, Mendy has not exactly been peppered, at least domestically. His three Premier League clean sheets have been achieved having faced just four shots, all of which came against Manchester United.

It was that fixture at Old Trafford that secured his status as his club’s undisputed No.1. He gave a man-of-the-match display in a scoreless draw, notably denying Marcus Rashford in the first half.

28 yrs - GK - Chelsea
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
Played matches
Won matches
AVG Rating
Goals Conceded P90
Saves P90
Successful passing %
Final third passes P90

In Europe, meanwhile, he has been extended a little more consistently. Over three games, he has faced seven shots on target. All have been rebuffed.

On Wednesday, it was his former Rennes team-mates he denied, extending his shutout run to 547 minutes in all competitions. Only Tottenham’s Erik Lamela has beaten him since Mendy moved to Chelsea, doing so in a League Cup tie that the Blues lost on penalties.

Clement Grenier might have felt he was about to do so late in the midweek Champions League tie, but Mendy launched himself across goal to frustrate him.

Mendy has already won the trust of the defence, the great intangible for a goalkeeper. The difference in performance in the back four when he plays compared to Kepa is clear.

He’s brought confidence to those around him. What he’s shown has been very complete.Frank Lampard

“He’s brought confidence to those around him,” manager Frank Lampard said. “What he’s shown has been very complete.”

It should come as little surprise, then, that the goalkeeper is in possession of a rising Football Critic Ranking of 80, surpassing that of Kepa on 71.

A late bloomer, even in the world of goalkeeping, Mendy spent the 2014-15 season without a club, having been released by Cherbourg, and was considering his future in the game.

Marseille then snapped him up for their reserve team, yet he was second choice even there before Reims plucked him from obscurity. From there, his career has taken off exponentially, moving from the Champagne side to Rennes and then to Chelsea all within virtually a year.

Seemingly without a future barely five years ago, the 28-year-old is now preferred to the most expensive goalkeeper of all-time – and deservedly so.

Latest news

Predicted XI

Aguero to start? How Barcelona could line up against Dynamo Kyiv

Sergio Aguero made his Barcelona debut off the bench against Valencia at the weekend, so is a first start expected in the Champions League?

  • 15 hours
Predicted XI

Rashford to start? How Man Utd could line up against Atalanta

After a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Leicester, Manchester United need a reaction, and their clash with Atalanta is the perfect chance to put things right.

  • 15 hours
Predicted XI

Mount and Silva to return? How Chelsea could line up against Malmo

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea side host Malmo in their third group stage game of this season's Champions League. What will the starting XI look like?

  • 15 hours
European Golden Shoe

European Golden Shoe 2021/22: Haaland & Lewandowski reach Benzema

Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski both surged up the standings in the race to score the most goals in Europe this season.

  • 19 hours
Premier League

Premier League top scorers 2021/22: Salah and Vardy lead the way

The Liverpool forward is leading the race for Golden Boot glory on seven goals along with Leicester City star Jamie Vardy.

  • 19 hours

La Liga Table: Real Sociedad end weekend on top as Barca win

Real Sociedad end the weekend on top of the table as Barcelona eased the pressure on coach Ronald Koeman by beating Valencia.

  • 1 day

Most read