The arrival of Edouard Mendy to Chelsea brought an uncertain amount of confidence and expectations within the fanbase. Most fans had little to no knowledge of Mendy because he was playing in Ligue 1 for Rennes. Despite Mendy having a successful 2019/2020 season with Rennes, many questioned if he would be an upgrade over Kepa simply because Mendy was a relatively unknown quantity. However, the simple act of signing a new goalkeeper was welcomed by fans due to the struggles of Kepa Arrizabalaga. As more fans began to research and analyze Mendy, it was clear one trend was emerging: he seemed to offer both performance-related and statistical reasons to suggest he would be an upgrade over the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, Kepa. Although Mendy offered promise of improvement over Kepa, has he delivered on those expectations so far this season?
Edouard Mendy – Save Percentage
To begin to answer this question, individual data from each Premier League and Champions League match was analyzed. To start, Mendy has displayed phenomenal save percentage statistics so far. His lowest save percentage in any EPL or UCL match this season is 66.7%, and he also has finished 7 matches with a 100% save percentage! His average save percentage across these two competitions is sitting at a staggering 87.6%. This is nearly a 30% increase on the combined save percentage from the goalkeepers at Chelsea during the 2019/2020 season. Simply put, Mendy is saving nearly every shot he is faced with.
The second, portion of Mendy’s impressive statistics is with his Shots on Target faced relative to the number of saves he has made. This data was visualized using a scatterplot below.
The correlation between Shots on Target Against and Saves made by Edouard Mendy is incredibly positive and undoubtedly statistically significant (r = 0.96, t = 10.87, df = 10, p = 0.000000739). To summarize the statistics that are in parentheses, there is a 96% correlation between the 2 variables and the probability that this correlation is caused by random chance is less than 0.0001%. In other words, this correlation is so positively strong, that there is almost no scenario where random chance is influencing these results. Mendy is simply stopping nearly everything that comes his way. He has only allowed 3 goals and has faced 27 shots on target. Additionally, Mendy has three times the number of clean sheets (9) than goals allowed (3). He has simply been phenomenal.
Edouard Mendy – Goals Allowed vs PSxG
Further examining the overall statistics from the Premier League shows even further evidence of Mendy emerging as a world-class goalkeeper. Mendy has allowed fewer goals than his post-shot expected goals (PSxG). The PSxG is a measure of how many goals are expected to be conceded after factoring in how likely the shot is to be saved by a goalkeeper. Below is the comparison of the two variables.
Edouard Mendy has allowed 0.5 less goals than expected. Although this is not a massive difference, it is encouraging that Mendy is beating his PSxG. Last season, Chelsea conceded over 13 more goals than was expected by the PSxG would have predicted. Additionally, Mendy is allowing 0.29 goals per 90 minutes. In other words, Edouard Mendy only concedes 1 goal every 3 matches. The fact these trends are reversing for the 2020/2021 season should provide confidence that Chelsea are true title contenders.
Mendy’s Clean Sheet Record
Mendy also is boasting a high save percentage and clean sheet percentage this season in the league. The graph below provides a quick visual summary of these results.
Mendy’s save percentage is 83.3% in the Premier League, which is nearly 30% higher than the save percentage from last season by the Chelsea goalkeeper. Conversely, this is the highest save percentage that Mendy has posted in a domestic, top-flight league of his entire career. Mendy is also averaging a 71.4% clean sheet rate, which simply, is one of the greatest rates by a CFC goalkeeper in recent memory.
The most impressive statistic from Edouard Mendy is with his rate of goals allowed compared to the number of clean sheets recorded. Below is a visualization.
Mendy has only allowed 2 goals so far in the Premier League yet has kept 2.5 times as many clean sheets! This is the single, most impressive statistic in my opinion. At the current rates, Mendy is on pace to finish with a staggering 27 clean sheets for the 2020/2021 league campaign and only allow 11 goals. If Mendy can continue at the current rate, he is a lock to win the golden glove award at the end of the season. Mendy very well could end this season as one of, if not the best, goalkeeper in the world. He has world class statistics so far during his Chelsea career and I see little reason for that to change in the future.
Edouard Mendy has settled into his new role and life at Chelsea far better than most could have ever imagined. He is displaying poise, calmness, and chemistry with his backline during matches. Not only is he looking like a sure thing in goal, but his statistics have been world-class thus far. He is currently one of Europe’s best goalkeepers. Petr Cech deserves an immense amount of credit for finding, scouting, and recommending Mendy as the goalkeeper for Chelsea’s future. Cech’s recommendation has turned into what could become Chelsea’s signing of the season.
Written by Travis Flock @Crossroads_CFC
Edited by Jai Mcintosh @jjmcintosh5