Édouard Mendy: Things to Know About the Senegalese Goalkeeper

It was only two summers ago that Chelsea broke the world record fee for a goalkeeper when they brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois.

At the time, there was much excitement about what the Spaniard would be able to offer at Stamford Bridge. Sadly, things haven't gone to plan.

With his £72.6m move looking more and more regrettable after each unconvincing performance, Frank Lampard has clearly lost faith in the 25-year-old, dropping him on two occasions last season and bringing in back-up keeper Willy Caballero.

But at 38, the Argentine isn't a long-term solution to Chelsea's woes between the sticks. That's why Lampard is pressing on with his summer spending that has already seen the likes of Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech arrive at Stamford Bridge and it shows no signs of slowing up just yet.

Rennes goalkeeper Édouard Mendy has allegedly been the subject of a rejected £14.2m bid from the west Londoners and could be the latest star to join the ongoing revolution under the Blues' record goalscorer. So who is the Senegalese shot-stopper potentially on his way to the Premier League?

90min did some digging to find out.

1. Late Bloomer

The nightmare of massively overspending on Kepa has led Chelsea to completely change their approach to finding a future number one. Rather than spending excessive amounts on a well-known name, they've scouted around for a potential bargain.

Mendy only joined Rennes last summer in a £3.5m deal from Stade Reims following an impressive three years with the club. The keeper was actually playing in Ligue 2, France's second division, as recently as the 2017/18 season where he kept 18 clean sheets in 34 matches and didn't sign his first professional contract until he was 24.

It was enough to earn Reims promotion and after following up his strong displays in Ligue 1, Rennes made their move. They could now be set to pocket a healthy profit after only 12 months of service.

2. Africa Cup Of Nations Heartbreak

Mendy has eight caps for Senegal but actually made one appearance for the Bissau-Guinean national team. However, after being shortlisted by them for their 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) squad he ended up rejecting their advances and committing his international allegiance to Senegal.

Unfortunately for Mendy though, the tournament ended in heartbreak. After establishing himself as Aliou Cisse's first-choice goalkeeper at the 2019 AFCON, Mendy played the first two group matches against Tanzania and Algeria.

But a hand fracture kept him out of action as the Teranga Lions went all the way to the final, only to finish runners-up to Riyad Mahrez's Algeria.

3. An Imposing Presence

At 6'6, five inches taller than Arrizabalaga, Mendy is an imposing presence. His huge frame helped contribute to an impressive total of just 0.8 goals conceded per 90 last season which was the second-lowest in the division.

Mendy's post-shot xG of +1.7 is far superior to Kepa's total of -9.6 which was actually the worst in the Premier League by some distance. Post-shot xG is based on how likely a goalkeeper is to save the shots that they are facing meaning the Senegalese international slightly overperformed in 2019/20 and massively outperformed the current Chelsea keeper.

This was compounded by Mendy's 78.4% save percentage, which was the third-best in Ligue 1, compared to Kepa's meagre 54.5% which again left him bottom of the English top-flight.

4. Making History

Stade Rennes are currently enjoying one of the most successful spells in their history with the help of Mendy between the sticks.

The French side defeated European giants Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final last season, although Mendy had yet to join the club, but arguably went one better this time around.

Despite winning a domestic trophy in 2018/19, Rennes only finished in 10th position in Ligue 1 conceding 52 goals along the way. When their previous no. 1, Tomas Koubek, departed for Bundesliga outfit Augsburg they turned to Mendy.

The Rouges et Noir enjoyed a fabulous campaign until the enforced halt in proceedings but did enough to secure a spot in the Champions League for the first time in their history via a third-placed finish. It remains to be seen whether Mendy will still be around to enjoy the fruits of his labour but he'll undoubtedly be remembered as part of a historical Rennes side for years to come.

5. A Family Affair

Edouard Mendy and current Real Madrid left-back, Ferland Mendy, are thought to be cousins.

The Los Blancos star is three years Edouard's junior but his path to the top has been far simpler than his older relative. Ferland moved from Le Havre to Lyon and then to the Spanish capital for £43m last summer, where he has displaced Marcelo as Zinedine Zidane's first-choice left-back.

Source : 90min