Edouard Mendy is no longer Chelsea’s no.1 as Graham Potter issues warning to him amid Kepa Arrizabalaga resurgence

Edouard Mendy is no longer Chelsea’s no.1 as Graham Potter issues warning to him amid Kepa Arrizabalaga resurgence

Edouard Mendy has returned to fitness after missing Chelsea’s last two games with injury, but the Senegal international has seen Kepa Arrizabalaga star in his place under Graham Potter

Edouard Mendy is no longer Chelsea’s no.1 with Graham Potter keen to give Kepa the chance to become the club’s first choice keeper.

 

Senegalese keeper Mendy, 30, was signed two years ago after Kepa’s £72million capture, a world record for a keeper, proved a disaster. Mendy went on to equal the record for the most clean sheets in a Champions League Final season with nine.

 

He then performed another shutout against Manchester City to help Chelsea win their second title. Mendy was also awarded both the UEFA keeper of the year and FIFA’s best goalkeeper of 2021, becoming the first African goalkeeper in football’s history to win both awards.

But he has struggled for form this season and been on the sidelines since injuring his knee against West Ham last month. Now he faces a fight for the first-team shirt.

 

“If you look at what we’ve got over the next six weeks, it’s an incredible schedule,” said Potter. “So I am in no rush to label anybody one or two. Firstly, I want to help Kepa enjoy his football and player at a really good level, which I think he did against Crystal Palace.

 

“Then I want to help Eddie get fit and ready to play, which he has done really well so far. Then we have two goalkeepers and in an ideal world, you let football decide. We have two goalkeepers we really believe in and that is a good situation for us.”

Kepa has managed just one clean sheet with Chelsea winning only of the three games since Mendy’s setback in the victory over West Ham. Mendy is back in the squad for the Champions League visit of AC Milan but has yet to feature for Chelsea under Potter and that looks unlikely to change on Wednesday night.

 

The new Blues boss remained non-committal and added: “Eddie has trained with the team for the last few days so is making progress.

 

“So he will be in the squad which is great news for us because it’s important to have as much competition for places as we can. So it’s great to have him back.”

Chelsea have won just four of their nine games in all competitions and kept just one clean sheet. But Potter is heartened by Saturday’s Premier League debut goal for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the win at Crystal Palace.

The Gabon frontman appears to have recovered from the traumatic August incident in which at least four masked men broke into his Barcelona home with guns, attacked him and his wife with iron bars and robbed them.

 

Potter revealed he held talks with Aubameyang to deal with the incident before even before thinking about football. “I think it’s just to acknowledge it,” he added “I’ve chatted to him briefly about it but you can imagine it’s just one of those things you have to move on from as quickly as you can.

We’re here to support and do all we can in that regard but the best thing for him is to play football, to put that incident behind him as quickly as possible, and to be in a place where he feels comfortable and happy.”

 

Asked whether Aubameyang had struggled with the trauma, Potter added: “He wouldn’t be human if he didn’t.

 

“It was fairly horrific, to be honest and without being a total psychologist, it’s a fair thing to assume. But like I said, I can only act in terms of how he behaves and conducts himself with us and he has been perfect.”

 

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