By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Chelsea have announced the signing of Rennes goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, on a five-year deal worth £22 million.
“It’s official! Edouard Mendy is a Blue!”, Chelsea tweeted Thursday morning.
Mendy was speculated to join Chelsea all through the summer since the London club has been in the market for a new goalkeeper.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper has been shaky between the sticks for the club. This raised concerns for head coach, Frank Lampard, who many times opted for Willy Caballero between the sticks ahead of Kepa.
Following Mendy’s signing, he would now be competing with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero for a starting spot in the season ahead.
Since he joined Rennes, Mendy proved a safe hand for the French club.
During his first season with the club, the Senegalese international kept 13 clean sheets and conceded 31 goals in 33 games before the season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Upon signing for Chelsea, Mendy expressed excitement joining the blues. “It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff, Mendy said.
The 28-year-old is not the first goalkeeper to make the move from Rennes to Chelsea. Former Chelsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech, also joined Chelsea from Rennes.
According to a bio published by Chelsea, Mendy was born in Montivilliers in northern France.
He began his career at AS Cherbourg in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football, and remained with the Normandy-based club until 2014.
Following a brief spell at Marseille B without making an appearance, the goalkeeper began to move up the footballing pyramid in 2016 by joining Reims and quickly established himself as the first choice between the sticks.
His impressive and consistent performances for Les Rouges et Blancs resulted in him lifting the first silverware of his career, when Reims captured the Ligue 2 title in 2018 and conceded just 24 goals that term, the lowest in the league.
After three years at Reims, Mendy moved on and joined Rennes ahead of the 2019/20 season. In his first campaign at Roazhon Park, the 6ft 5in goalie kept 13 clean sheets and conceded just 31 goals in 33 games before the season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He helped Rennes qualify for the Champions League for the first time last season, with the French club finishing third in Ligue 1. Mendy has European club competition experience under his belt already, having featured in four Europa League games last term.
Although born in France, Mendy opted to represent Senegal – the country of birth of his mother – at international level and has eight caps for the West African country.
His father is of Guinea-Bissau descent and Mendy did actually represent that country in a friendly match against Portugal in 2016. He declined an invitation to commit to playing for Guinea-Bissau at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and later made his debut for Senegal in 2018.