Edouard Mendy: The Great Wall Of The Blues

After Frank Lampard appeared to struggle with Kepa Arrizabalaga’s mixed second season at Stamford Bridge the 2021 Champions League winners were struggling to find a player to protect their goal, but then came Edouard Mendy. With his second season with Chelsea set to begin, let us see what to expect from him.

Edouard Mendy has been key for Chelsea since he joined, how will he do in his second season in England? Image credit | @jackcleevely
Edouard Mendy has been key for Chelsea since he joined, how will he do in his second season in England? Image credit | @jackcleevely

The Senegal international joined Chelsea from Stade Rennais on a 5-year contract. Chelsea’s number one keeper before him, Kepa, was struggling to find his form and to compete at the top level and a new face was needed. Since he joined in September Mendy has been one of the best keepers in the Premier League.

Mendy only trails Ederson in clean sheet percentage, conceding only 25 times in 31 matches. His presence was instrumental for Chelsea’s success last season in Champions League and Premier League. Throughout the season he manged to keep 16 clean sheet, the second best last season. He tallied best save percentage and most clean sheets in the Champions League last season as well.

From day one it looked like Mendy belonged at Stamford Bridge. After a stellar performance in his debut season, what should we expect from Edouard Mendy in his second season?

Mendy the box commander

Edouard Mendy, on an average stopped 10% of the crosses played in the box which makes him the best in the world at this. To compare, Ederson has a percentage of 6.5% and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen 6.2%. The fans and the coach expect him to dominate the box in this upcoming season too.

His ability to read and collect crosses is one of the things to look forward to.

When it comes to reflexes, Mendy was among the best last season in this as well. His save percentage of 85% tell the whole story and how good he is. As for positioning, he is good at judging a forward’s run which allows him a bit more time to get into position or even stop a goal scoring opportunity.

Mendy’s positional play helps the defenders a lot and the team will rely on him to read threatening situations from time to time.

One the best traits in Mendy’s bag is his shot stopping abilities. He has showed his quality is on many occasions, in big matches like the one against Atletico Madrid and Porto where he stopped many certain goals. He is not only good at stopping long range shots but also excellent in 1v1 situations. Mendy’s concentration throughout the match is plausible as it has helped Chelsea escape from many bad situations.

How can he improve?

At times his lack of composure on the ball put Chelsea in very dangerous position. His first touch and ability to distribute the ball is something fans and other teams will have a close eye on.

Putting pressure on Mendy can force him to make mistakes like against Atletico Madrid where his poor first touch almost allowed Atletico to score. A similar thing happened in the match against Arsenal where he gave the ball away to Alexandre Lacazette. In his second season, Mendy’s composure will be tested.

Before Mendy joined Chelsea, one of his biggest weakness was the inability to effectively sweep the ball. When it comes to sweeping the ball, he often is indecisive. The double mindedness, at times, leaves him in no man’s land and the goal wide open for opponents.

At the start of his Chelsea career, he made some similar mistakes but with the help of coaching staff and his will to improve, as the season progressed Mendy was lot more comfortable in coming forward.

To conclude, Edouard Mendy has been one of their best, if not the best signing of last summer. His presence between the sticks made it hard for opponents to score and was a confidence boost for all the players. His second season will attract more spotlight after a stellar debut season. Will Edouard Mendy be able to keep up this performance and build on it or crumble under pressure?

Written by Suryansh Somvanshi (@suryanshsomvans)

Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)

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