Mendy is expected to challenge the struggling Kepa Arrizabalaga for the starting goalkeeper job
Chelsea have the third-best odds to win the Premier League this term (+1400)
Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a forgettable career since joining Chelsea in the summer of 2018. The Blues made the Spaniard the most expensive goalkeeper in the world when he was signed away from Athletic Bilbao for €80 million, but he has struggled mightily since coming to England.
Kepa was one of the lowest-rated regular goalkeepers in the Premier League last season, and his 2020-21 campaign has gotten off to an inauspicious start. Arrizabalaga made a huge error in giving the ball away to Sadio Mane in the box during Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against Liverpool. Mane quickly snuck the ball past him to seal the Reds’ victory, and calls for Chelsea to find a replacement grew even louder.
Mendy to The Rescue?
Well, the Blues haven’t wasted much time. During that very game, in fact, reports indicated that Chelsea were close to a deal to bring in a new keeper. On Thursday, the team officially announced the signing of Edouard Mendy, who will come over from Rennes on a five-year deal.
Mendy, 28, leaves Rennes after spending just one year with the club in France’s Ligue 1. The keeper was instrumental in helping Rennes finish third in the league table, which was good enough to secure a place in this season’s Champions League.
“I am so excited to be joining Chelsea. It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff. I look forward to meeting my teammates and can’t wait to get started.”
Chelsea has not yet indicated that Mendy will take Kepa’s job as the No. 1 goalkeeper, but the writing is likely on the wall for Arrizabalaga at this point.
When asked about Mendy, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said,
“As soon as Petr Cech and our technical team identified Edouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in. Edouard arrives following a season of real success with Rennes, he is ambitious for more, and we welcome him to our club.”
Busy Summer for Chelsea
Mendy, who has emerged as the No. 1 goalkeeper for Senegal over the past year, started his club career at La Havre in France. He joined Reims in Ligue 2 during the 2016-17 campaign before signing for Rennes in August of last year.
Mendy becomes Chelsea’s seventh signing in what has been an incredibly active summer. The team has also brought in Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, and Hakim Ziyech.
Despite the influx of talent, the Blues were not overly competitive against the reigning champions on Sunday. They entered halftime in a scoreless draw, but a red card from Mark Christensen just before the break put Chelsea at a serious disadvantage. Liverpool scored twice after the intermission to hand the Blues their first defeat of the new campaign.
Despite Kepa’s shortcomings, Lampard was still able to lead Chelsea to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and a berth in Champions League in his first season. Kepa will likely be between the sticks for the Blues this week when they face the newly-promoted West Brom, but it remains to be seen what his role will be beyond the next game.
Chelsea own the third-best odds to win the Premier League this season at +1400, behind Manchester City (-115) and Liverpool (+150).
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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