‘We work well together and we’re pushing each other every day’: Chelsea’s new No 1 Edouard Mendy insists he has a ‘very good relationship’ with Kepa Arrizabalaga despite ousting him from between the sticks
- Frank Lampard confirmed Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is their new No 1
- The much-maligned Kepa Arrizabalaga was replaced after a series of mistakes
- But Mendy insisted he has a good relationship with Kepa despite ousting him
- The Senegal international has impressed since arriving from Rennes for £22m
New Chelsea No 1 Edouard Mendy insists he has a blossoming relationship with Kepa Arrizabalaga – despite him taking the Spaniard’s spot between the sticks.
Frank Lampard signed Mendy from Rennes last month following an error-strewn season for Kepa, who occasionally surrendered his place to Willy Caballero.
The Senegal international has kept two clean sheets in his first three games, with Lampard confirming he is now first choice.
Chelsea’s new No 1 Edouard Mendy says he has a good relationship with Kepa Arrizabalaga
Mendy has become the club’s first choice stopper despite signing from Rennes just last month
But Mendy, speaking for the first time since signing, said Chelsea’s goalkeepers have put aside their rivalry in pursuit of collective glory.
‘I have a very good relationship with Kepa,’ he said.
‘The group of goalkeepers we have, we’re all very open and all of us understand the team is the most important thing here and doing what is right for the group.
Kepa has been forced to settle as Mendy’s understudy after a series of high-profile mistakes
‘Our relationships are all very good, we work well together and we’re pushing each other every day to improve ourselves and improve each other. We know as goalkeepers we have to stay unified and united and that is what is happening at the moment.’
Mendy made his debut in last month’s EFL Cup defeat by Tottenham before keeping a clean sheet in their victory over Crystal Palace.
Injury then struck, keeping Mendy out until this week’s Champions League goalless draw with Sevilla.
In his absence, Kepa returned for the 3-3 draw against Southampton, when he made another error as Lampard’s side suffered more defensive calamity.
The under-fire Spain international had returned against Southampton but made another error
Mendy, meanwhile, has impressed since signing last month and wants to repay the club’s faith
Now fit again, Mendy hopes to repay Chelsea’s faith – and inspire a new generation of African goalkeepers to join English football.
‘I can’t tell you why there are so few African goalkeepers in England but when you look at the other leagues across Europe there are more,’ he said.
‘I’m the only African goalkeeper in the Premier League and there is a responsibility I feel because there is expectation surrounding that. I need to make sure I carry on working hard, do my best in training and matches so that other goalkeepers can follow me into this league and have this opportunity.’