Chelsea legend Petr Cech has, over the last couple of days, provided insights into a pair of topics, which will no doubt pique the interest of Blues fans.
The first surrounds his side’s signing of Edouard Mendy.
Senegalese shot-stopper Mendy made the move to Stamford Bridge during the summer, as part of Chelsea’s big-money recruitment drive.
Frank Lampard initially assured that the 28-year-old had been signed simply to provide some much-needed competition for Kepa Arrizabalaga, and not as a replacement for the off-colour Spaniard.
Few, though, truly believed such claims, with Kepa having proven nothing short of a disaster over the course of the 2019/20 campaign.
As such, it has since come as little surprise to see Mendy thrust into starting duties in southwest London.
And to say that the former Rennes man has gone on to impress would be putting it lightly.
Mendy looks the source of calm and presence which Chelsea have so long been crying out for between the posts, culminating in 5 clean sheets across his 6 appearances thus far:
🧤 Most consecutive clean sheets for Chelsea
🤦♂️ Kepa Arrizabalaga – 3 (from 98 apps)
🙌 Edouard Mendy – 5 (from 6 apps) pic.twitter.com/TGN4Pe5gO6
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 31, 2020
‘Thought he was the best’
As such, if first appearances are anything to go by at least, then it appears as though Lampard and co. may well have found their new no.1 for years to come.
Mendy’s arrival, though, for the most part, should not be credited to the Chelsea boss, or even the club’s scouts.
Instead, the plaudits should go to one of the Blues’ greatest-ever shot-stoppers, and current technical advisor at Stamford Bridge – Petr Cech.
Speaking in a recent interview with L’Equipe, ex-Czech Republic international Cech was drawn on Mendy’s arrival in the English capital.
And the 38-year-old went on to reveal that the African’s signing came based on his personal recommendation, with Cech having been following Mendy’s progress in France for some time:
‘I’ve been following him for three-and-a-half years, when he was at Reims. At the start, it was Christophe Lollichon who told me about him, because he had been unemployed.’
‘Since then, Edouard has continued to improve, season after season. When it became clear last summer that a new goalie was needed to compete with Kepa and Willy Caballero, I internally suggested several names, including Edouard.’
‘And I insisted that I thought he was the best on the list. My advice was followed.’
On the 28-year-old’s displays thus far, meanwhile, Cech continued:
‘It has been a continuation of his performances with Rennes.’
‘He is a very calm goalkeeper, who knows how to keep it simple and efficient, who reassures his team-mates.’
‘He must continue to evolve at this level to keep his starting place, as the competition with Kepa and Willy remains open.’
Elsewhere, Cech also went on to discuss his potential return to the pitch this season.
The veteran was a shock inclusion in Chelsea’s Premier League squad for the campaign ahead, despite having not taken to the pitch since the back-end of 2018-19, with Arsenal.
Cech, though, has assured that he is fit and available for selection, ‘ready’ to help out former teammate Lampard ‘if needs be’:
‘It’s true that it would have been a professional error to do this if I wasn’t at Premier League level, but that’s not the way we work here,’ he explained to Telefoot.
‘I know I’m 100 per cent ready to help if needs be. I’m fit, and with the two months of training, I’ve seen I have the same quality.’
‘Furthermore, I rested for a year without playing football. It really gave me energy, my body recovered after playing 20 years as a professional. If the circumstances put me on the pitch, I’m ready.’
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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