REPORT: Chelsea Set to Complete Edouard Mendy Deal

Chelsea Mendy
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This is shaping up to be a very impressive transfer window for Chelsea. Having already confirmed six signings, manager Frank Lampard has been calling out for his seventh to be a new goalkeeper.

After a few weeks of negotiations, he’s now got it in the formĀ Edouard Mendy, according to Fabrizio Romano. The deal is set to be completed in the next few days with personal terms agreed and the goalkeeper ready to fly to London for medicals, according to Romano.

REPORT: Chelsea Complete Mendy Deal

Competition for Kepa

It’s safe to say Lampard will not have been pleased with the performances of Kepa Arrizabalaga last season. Statistically, he put up absolutely shocking numbers, and the “eye test” was no better.

He looked afraid to claim crosses into the box, was sloppy in possession, and worst of all, simply couldn’t save shots. It’s not that he made many errors, it’s that his level of play was consistently not up to the standards expected.

However, despite all his struggles, Chelsea technical advisor and goalkeeping legend Petr Cech has reaffirmed the club’s faith in Kepa. When a man with the pedigree of Cech says he can fix the Spaniard, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The problem is, though, there was no adequate backup to Kepa. Willy Caballero was solid when called upon, but he was not much of an improvement. The dropoff in quality is too high, which is why Lampard was reluctant to drop his starter last season. He did drop him on two separate occasions, but it was not enough.

Now, with Mendy reportedly coming in, Chelsea have a keeper who has the quality to start playing as Kepa’s backup. He will put pressure on Kepa to constantly deliver top performances because now Lampard will have no qualms about benching him.

The competition will do them both good, and it will provide the boss with two keepers at his disposal who have the ability to start consistently.

Mendy’s Strength is Kepa’s Weakness

Kepa’s weakness, or one of them at least, is not being able to command his box. He is reluctant, and at times appears seemingly afraid, to go and claim crosses. A strong, dominant keeper alleviates the pressure on the defenders and is of paramount importance.

Fortunately, that’s where Mendy comes in. Standing at 1.97m, naturally he is a dominant presence for the backline. Unsurprisingly, one of his strengths is claiming crosses, as it is easier for him to do so.

However, catching crosses is not all about height and has a lot to do with timing, precision, and confidence, three things Kepa seems to lack and Mendy seems to have in abundance. While he is nothing special on the ball, the Frenchman is a reliable option off it.

At Athletic Bilbao, Kepa was a special keeper, and in 2018/19 he also showed great promise. It’s hard to tell what happened to him last season, but what we do know is that he has to step it up now.

With Mendy in the team, he will need to deliver consistently or he will be dropped, and vice versa. They are two very different keepers, but Lampard will have to decide which is more reliable.

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