‘I’ve watched 30 goalkeepers in the last 18 months and he was the one who came to mind’

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‘I’ve watched 30 goalkeepers in the last 18 months and he was the one who came to mind’: Petr Cech was struck by talent of Edouard Mendy and reveals role in spotting Chelsea No 1, who followed his path from Rennes to Stamford Bridge
Petr Cech reveals that he played a part in Chelsea’s signing of Edouard Mendy
Cech was hugely impressed when he watched the 28-year-old at Rennes
Frank Lampard revealed Mendy gave him advice ahead of facing his old club

Petr Cech has revealed that he was hugely impressed by the talent of Edouard Mendy when Chelsea were considering a move for the goalkeeper.

After enduring much frustration in the goalkeeping department as Kepa Arrizabalaga frequently made mistakes, Mendy has been a considerably calmer presence between the sticks since making the switch from Rennes in September.

Cech, Chelsea’s technical advisor, joined the Blues from Rennes himself in 2004, and disclosed that he played a part in the signing of Mendy.

Cech admitted that the 28-year-old stood out amidst the 30 goalkeepers that he watched.

Speaking to BT Sport, Cech said: ‘I gave my input [on Mendy’s signing], because we wanted to add to our goalkeeping group a slightly different type of keeper.

‘We have Kepa and Willy Caballero, who every time we needed him was ready to step in and we decided with Kepa going through a difficult moment where things were not happening for him on the pitch, we decided to add to our goalkeeping group and we agreed to bring in Edouard. So far, he’s been doing great.

‘In my first eight games [at Chelsea], we had seven clean sheets. If he [Mendy] gets that and makes it better, I will be happy, because the team will do well and we will be winning, and this is ultimately what we want.’

Cech revealed that Christophe Lollichon, the head of Chelsea’s goalkeeping department, advised him to watch Mendy.

‘I have to give credit to Christophe Lollichon who spoke to me about him three-and-a-half years ago when Edouard started playing for Reims. The one thing which is great about his story is obviously his year where, because of the fault of his agent, he was without a club.

‘While I was playing at Arsenal, he said, “Watch this goalkeeper, he has a very interesting story.” So I started following him.

‘Obviously you watch all the other goalkeepers as well. I have watched 30, 40 different goalkeepers over the past year and a half, but I kept following Edouard and you see his evolution and progression every year, it got me the idea when we talked about what we want from a goalkeeper, what we would like to add to our goalkeeping group, his name came to my mind.

‘The manager has a big input. The club and the scouting has his input and we all agreed he’s the goalkeeper we should get over.’

Mendy has received much praise for his performances for Chelsea so far and will certainly benefit from the advice of a club legend in Cech.

Cech has been registered as a non-contact player in the Premier League, but it is anticipated that Mendy will play the majority of games for Frank Lampard’s side.

There was a special occasion for Mendy on Wednesday night as he was in action against his former side Rennes in the Champions League.

Speaking before the game, Lampard revealed that Mendy gave him ‘a lot of detail’ about the French side.

Lampard told BT Sport: ‘I’ve had that conversation with him and he gave me a lot of detail. He plays for us now and he’s very respectful of what Rennes did for him in his career, so I think it’s a nice story of him coming and playing against them.’

The Chelsea manager also praised Mendy’s personality and the impact that he’s made since joining Chelsea.

Lampard said: ‘I’m hopeful and pretty sure, from seeing his personality in the short time he’s been here, that they will have nice feelings about Edou, as well as him having nice feelings about them.

‘It doesn’t take anything away from it being a tough match and, not a pivotal match, but when you look at where the group is, it’s a big game for us. It’s in our hands tonight.’

Chelsea beat Rennes 3-0 with Timo Werner scoring two penalties and Tammy Abraham also on the scoresheet. Rennes were reduced to ten men in the 40th minute when Dalbert was sent off.

Mendy kept his sixth clean sheet in seven appearances for Chelsea.

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