Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Chelsea close on Mendy as Lampard confirms medical

SoccerNews in English Premier League 22 Sep 2020

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Edouard Mendy is having his medical with Chelsea ahead of a proposed move from Rennes, Frank Lampard has confirmed.

The Blues are said to have struck a deal in the region of £22million with the Ligue 1 club for the goalkeeper as Chelsea look to add competition for the under-fire Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Mendy is reported to have agreed terms on a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

“Mendy is having a medical as we speak, subject to that being okay later on he will become our player at that point,” Blues boss Lampard told a news conference ahead of Chelsea’s EFL Cup tie with Barnsley.

Kepa, a £71million signing from Athletic Bilbao, found himself in and out of the team under Lampard last term and his position again came under scrutiny after a costly error in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Premier League champions Liverpool.

Lampard was asked if the arrival of Mendy could actually end up being a good thing for Kepa.

“Yeah, I don’t know what benefits anyone in the long run, football is always in your hands and how you work going forward,” he added. 

“Competition is always important at Chelsea. Mendy is in for that competition, it’s an area Kepa himself wants to improve in his own performance. 

“It’s in everyone’s interests to try and improve. I’m not making any final statements on anyone at the moment, football isn’t like that.”

Lampard also revealed how Blues great Petr Cech, now Chelsea’s technical director, was influential in the Mendy deal having starred between the posts during his career.

“Petr was important in that with it being the goalkeeper position,” Lampard said of Cech, who also signed from Rennes in 2004.

“Cech was best in the world in that position for a while so he had a big say in that, I lean heavily on him when it comes to goalkeepers day to day, planning for the future, he’s very influential.” 

Lampard, who says he understands Mendy will not have to quarantine so long as he tests negative for coronavirus, sympathises to a point with goalkeepers like Kepa trying to rebuild confidence.

“It is the hardest position because of the individual nature of it and mistakes get punished with goals,” Lampard said.

“I understand that and as a manager I have to be sympathetic to that point. I am very aware of that.”

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