‘We work well together and we’re pushing each other every day’: Chelsea’s new No 1 Edouard Mendy insists he has a ‘very good relationship’ with Kepa Arrizabalaga despite ousting him from between the sticks
- Frank Lampard confirmed Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is their new No 1
- Kepa Arrizabalaga was replaced after a series of mistakes at Stamford Bridge
- But Mendy insisted he has a good relationship with Kepa despite ousting him
- The Senegal international has impressed since arriving from Rennes for £22m
New Chelsea No 1 Edouard Mendy insists he has a blossoming relationship with Kepa Arrizabalaga – despite him taking the Spaniard’s spot between the sticks.
Frank Lampard signed Mendy from Rennes last month following an error-strewn season from Kepa, who was left fighting for his place with Willy Caballero.
Senegal international Mendy has kept two clean sheets in his first three games, with Lampard confirming he is now first choice.
Chelsea’s new No 1 Edouard Mendy says he has a good relationship with Kepa Arrizabalaga
Mendy has become the club’s first choice stopper despite signing from Rennes just last month
But on Thursday Mendy said Chelsea’s goalkeepers have put aside their personal rivalry in pursuit of collective glory.
‘I have a very good relationship with Kepa,’ he said.
‘The group of goalkeepers we have, we’re all very open and all of us understand the team is the most important thing here… our relationships are all very good, we work well together and we’re pushing each other every day to improve ourselves and improve each other. We know as goalkeepers we have to stay unified and united and that is what is happening at the moment.’
Mendy is fit again having missed last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Southampton, when Kepa made another error and Hakim Ziyech, the £38million signing from Ajax, made his debut.
The 27-year-old had spent his entire career in Holland, where his outspoken tendencies saw him criticise team-mates, managers and even Dutch icon Marco van Basten.
Kepa has been forced to settle as Mendy’s understudy after a series of high-profile mistakes
The under-fire Spain international had returned against Southampton but made another error
When asked on Thursday whether that could have put clubs off signing him before now, Ziyech said: ‘I don’t know. I am not afraid to have my opinion and I always speak from my heart and what I am feeling, I am just saying.
‘I don’t really care what people think about (it)… in the end I always believe in myself and trust in myself.’ While at Ajax, Ziyech also reached the semi-finals of the 2019 Champions League, when they were beaten in injury time by Tottenham.
Now the Morocco international says the pain of that ‘stolen’ childhood ‘dream’ can benefit Spurs’ rivals.
‘It helped me improve, to never give up, and of course people, even in Holland, they say: ‘Now you can take good revenge of Tottenham’.’
Mendy, meanwhile, has impressed since signing last month and wants to repay the club’s faith