In a recent interview with Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (via goal.com) following Chelsea‘s 2-0 win over Newcastle United, Thomas Tuchel confirmed Edouard Mendy as his number-one choice for the goal-keeping position despite starting Kepa Arrizabalaga in that game. Tuchel said (via goal.com),
“Edou is the number one, this is clear.
“It was clear before the game and it stays like this.
“I am happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet. It was the moment to let him feel the rhythm and build up his confidence.
“It was clear before that we hoped for the best performance, but Edou will be in goal from now on as he recovered physically and mentally and right now, he is the number one.”
Mendy’s Rollercoaster Season In English Football
Mendy has experienced an up and down season with the Blues despite getting regular first-team starts under their previous manager Frank Lampard. However, Tuchel has not been as reliant on his services as his predecessor, but his recent words will be music to the Senegalese keeper’s ears as he will only get better if he plays for the West London giants every week.
Since joining Chelsea from Stade Rennais last summer, Mendy has participated in 25 matches for his new club, conceding 17 goals and earning 14 clean sheets on all fronts. He has done well to average 0.4 clearances and 4.5 long balls per game in the Premier League this season and has been relatively accurate when distributing the ball after making 82% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).
What Are The Senegalese Custodian’s Best Attributes?
Standing at 1.96m, Mendy can be a towering presence inside his penalty box and can use his strong frame to come out of his lines to collect crosses from the opposition. He boasts quick reflexes which he can use to make some crucial saves for his team.
The France-born talent is a decent shot-stopper but can sometimes lack the pace to get into an ideal position to make a save when the opposite side is moving the ball quickly on the counter. Still, he is a solid keeper who doesn’t have too many weaknesses in his game.
Did Tuchel Make The Right Decision By Confirming Mendy As His Number-One?
Now that the Chelsea boss has revealed his stance on the goal-keeping position, it might give Mendy a boost as he will have more confidence with his gaffer backing him. However, this latest development will be a tough pill to swallow for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has shown some encouraging signs of late after starting in each of the London side’s past two matches and securing two clean sheets in the process.
With all things considered, it seems like Tuchel is being honest with the media by revealing his intentions of playing Mendy regularly from now on as he is far more reliable than Arrizabalaga, who has previously been error-prone at Stamford Bridge.