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Reports: Chelsea's move for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy hits brick wall

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard's Chelsea have been heavily linked with Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in recent weeks
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 19 Sep 2020, 17:22 IST
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Chelsea have been linked with several goalkeepers for most of the summer but recent speculations suggest that they have settled on Edouard Mendy as their first choice.

However, their move for the 28-year-old has gotten complicated due to the demands of his club, Rennes.

The French outfit are reportedly demanding the inclusion of two Chelsea players in any deal for Edouard Mendy, which does not augur well with the Premier League side.

Young defender Fikayo Tomori is believed to be among the two players, although the identity of the second player is unknown.

Impressive Edouard Mendy to replace error-prone Kepa

Edouard Mendy offers a physical presence that Kepa lacks
Edouard Mendy offers a physical presence that Kepa lacks

When Chelsea paid the sum of £71.6m to Athletic Bilbao to trigger the release clause of Kepa Arrizabalaga, they believed they were securing their goalkeeping position for at least the next decade.

That transfer made Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper in history but the Spanish international has woefully failed to provide value for money spent.

After a mixed debut season - that included that infamous scene in the Carabao Cup final - things unravelled for the Spain international in his second campaign at Stamford Bridge.

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He was the custodian of the worst defence of the top 10 Premier League teams last season, with 54 goals conceded.

Of these, 47 came from 33 matches when Kepa was in goal, while he kept just eight clean sheets.

In fairness to the 25-year-old, Chelsea's porous defence was not entirely his fault as he was protected by mostly inexperienced defenders but that takes nothing away from the fact that the goalkeeper did not discharge his duties effectively.

Kepa failed to provide an assuring presence in the box and has the unwanted record of the worst save ratio in Premier League history (of keepers to play at least 10 matches).

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Frank Lampard consequently dropped him for key matches towards the end of the season, and his first performance of the new season was hardly impressive as he could have done better to prevent the goal by Leandro Trossard in the 3-1 victory over Brighton.

It is for this reason that the Chelsea manager has identified getting a new goalkeeper as the number one priority of the summer.

Having initially been linked with Andre Onana of Ajax and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, Chelsea seem to have settled with Rennes' shot-stopper Edouard Mendy.

Edouard Mendy impressed had impressed for three seasons with Reims (where he helped the Red and Whites secure promotion to the top-flight).

The 28-year-old's performance at Stade Auguste-Delaune did not go unnoticed, and Stade Rennes purchased him in the summer of 2019.

This proved to be a shrewd move as the Senegal international was the driving force behind Rennes's Champions League qualification.

Standing at over 6 ft 6', Edouard Mendy is an imposing figure in his box and provides a presence that is sorely lacking in Kepa.

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Unlike the Spaniard, Mendy boasted an impressive save ratio of 78.4% last season, and it was no surprise to see that Rennes ended the campaign with the joint-best defence in the league (alongside PSG).

Simply put, Edouard Mendy was the driving force behind his side's third-place finish in Ligue 1 and although he is not as effective as Kepa in ball distribution, he discharges his primary duties with aplomb.

Chelsea would like to complete a deal for Edouard Mendy before the close of the transfer window in three weeks but it remains to be seen whether Rennes would renege on their demands.

Published 19 Sep 2020, 17:22 IST
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