Edouard Mendy signs for Chelsea

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Edouard Mendy becomes Chelsea’s seventh new arrival this transfer window as he joins in £22m deal from Rennes… and he will be available to face West Brom after Frank Lampard finally signs replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea completed the signing of Edouard Mendy from Rennes on Thursday
The 28-year-old has joined in a £22million deal and is set to be Chelsea’s No 1
Blues boss Frank Lampard has grown frustrated at Kepa Arrizabalaga’s mistakes
Mendy will be available for inclusion in the Chelsea squad to face West Brom

Edouard Mendy will be available for inclusion in Frank Lampard’s squad to face West Brom on Saturday after completing his £22m move from Rennes.

Mendy is due to train with his new team-mates for the first time on Friday having avoided the need to quarantine on his arrival in the UK after having his medical in Germany rather than France.

Mendy, who did some individual work on Thursday afternoon following earlier confirmation of his switch, signed a five-year deal.

Chelsea’s move for the Senegal goalkeeper was heavily influenced by Petr Cech, who also joined the Blues from Rennes in 2004 and is now the London club’s technical and performance advisor.

Loan goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon has also spoke glowingly about Mendy, describing him in the past as a modern goalkeeper made for English football.

France-born Mendy has been signed to compete with the under-pressure Kepa and Willy Caballero for the No.1 spot.

He impressed to help Rennes finish third last season, his only campaign at the Ligue 1 club, keeping 13 clean sheets and conceding just 31 goals in 33 games.

Chelsea also wanted to bring in a keeper with greater presence to complement their existing options which helped 6ft 5in Mendy get the nod over other options the Blues considered along with his reasonable price tag.

Mendy said: ‘I’m 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 mates and can’t wait to get started.’

Jan Oblak, Nick Pope, Dean Henderson and Andre Onana were among the other goalkeepers Chelsea assessed.

Onana was especially disappointed he did not get the chance to follow Hakim Ziyech from Ajax to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are keen to give Mendy time to bed in and adapt though he is expected to be involved at the Hawthorns.

Kepa’s difficulties have increased Mendy’s hopes that he may get to start sooner than originally anticipated.

Though Kepa is relishing the increased competition Mendy will bring and accepts he has no option other than to fight to be first choice and rediscover his form.

Kepa, dropped twice by Lampard last season, has been in the spotlight again this term after letting in a soft goal against Brighton and gifting Liverpool their second last weekend.

But he is determined to emerge from his slump and has been working overtime in a bid to prove his worth at Chelsea, staying behind for now-daily extra training in the hope his hard work will underline his desire to improve and eventually spark an upturn in form.

Chelsea signed Kepa from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 for £71.6m, a price tag that made him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper and increased the pressure.

But Kepa remains convinced he can regain the form that has helped him become a Spanish international and almost join Real Madrid just a few months before he signed for Chelsea.

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