Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said that new signing Edouard Mendy is the club's first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea shocked fans and pundits by adding 39-year-old Petr Cech to their 25-man Premier League squad earlier this week, as the Blues continue to struggle at the back.
Mendy joined Chelsea from Rennes in a deal worth £18 million this summer. Chelsea were forced to sign a new goalkeeper in the transfer window after the horrendous performances of their first choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Kepa joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for £70 million in the summer of 2018, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. The Spain international has, however, failed to settle into the Premier League during his two years at Chelsea and appears to have hit rock bottom in recent weeks.
He has made some inexcusable errors this season against Liverpool and Southampton and has cost Chelsea a handful of points. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard initially gave Kepa his backing, but seems to have changed his mind after the 26-year-old's recent performances.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard reveals that new signing Edouard Mendy is now first-choice goalkeeper
Lampard has been reportedly impressed by Mendy in recent weeks. The Senegalese international returned to the starting lineup for Chelsea's opening Champions League fixture against Sevilla, where he managed to keep a clean sheet.
"The way he has played in the three games since being here, he's played very well...So at the minute yes," Lampard told reporters when asked if Mendy was now the first choice instead of Arrizabalaga.
"I said when he came in it was good for competition. We knew his qualities and he's showing them already. But that always remains something that is up for grabs, so that is why you have competition at clubs. The way he is playing I'm very happy," said Lampard
The inclusion of Petr Cech as the fourth keeper in Chelsea's Premier League squad has raised many eyebrows, given that the Czech retired from football in 2019. Lampard, however, said it was part of their COVID-19 response planning.
"We had that space in the squad and we know this year, it looks like no other because of COVID and isolation. We felt it was a no-brainer to have Pete in the squad," Lampard added.
"He's still relatively young. He finished playing when he possibly could have carried on. He trains fairly regularly and he is fit. Whether we will see him much this season, I am not sure."
Lampard and Chelsea will hope that Mendy can maintain his fitness, as they enter a crucial phase of the season. Goalkeeping errors and inadequacies have been major problems for Chelsea since the departure of Thibaut Courtois.
The Blues seems to have finally found a good goalkeeper in Mendy and it remains to be seen if he produces the goods consistently.
Published 22 Oct 2020, 19:41 IST