Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has withdrawn from Senegal’s squad ahead of this month’s games against Morocco and Mauritania after suffering a thigh injury in training.
Chelsea are now sweating on the severity of the problem and it could mean an early recall for former number one Kepa Arrizabalaga if Mendy is not fit in time to face Southampton when domestic football resumes on 17 October.
With manager Frank Lampard long unconvinced by the error-prone Kepa, still the most expensive goalkeeper in history at £71.6m, Chelsea spent a reported £22m to sign Mendy from Rennes.
The deal was personally championed by Stamford Bridge legend and adviser Petr Cech, who was also formerly a Rennes player before first making the switch to west London 16 years ago.
Mendy made his Chelsea debut in the recent Carabao Cup tie against Spurs at the end of last month and followed it up with his Premier League bow against Crystal Pace last weekend.
News of his injury so soon after taking over the number one spot comes as a blow.
The Senegalese Football Federation confirmed the 28-year-old suffered an injury to his right thigh during a training session on Wednesday. He was later assessed at a hospital in Rabat, where Senegal are preparing to face Morocco, but the decision has now been made for Mendy to withdraw.
It will be for Chelsea medical staff to examine the goalkeeper further and assess what course of treatment and recovery is necessary. But, for now until more information is known, it puts him as a doubt to face the Saints next week, which would be a reprieve for Kepa.
Despite being pushed down the pecking order and linked with a move away before this week’s transfer deadline, which has now passed, Kepa has not been banished from the squad and has been on the bench as a number two for each of the two games Mendy has played.
Source : 90min