Kepa Arrizabalaga v Edouard Mendy

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Kepa Arrizabalaga v Edouard Mendy

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s worst fears have finally been confirmed. Chelsea have signed a new goalkeeper.

The Blues have landed French stopper Edouard Mendy from Rennes for a fee of £22million with manager Frank Lampard seemingly running out of patience for Kepa.

Mendy is officially a Chelsea player but what does this mean for Kepa’s future?

It was coming though. Kepa made a number of errors last season and his bad form has continued into this season – he made a dreadful mistake which led to Sadio Mane scoring during Chelsea’s defeat to Liverpool last weekend.

Lampard now has a decision to make ahead of Chelsea’s trip to West Brom on Saturday, a match you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 5:30pm.

Does he stick with Kepa or does new boy Mendy get a starting spot two days after his transfer to Stamford Bridge was announced? Willy Caballero is also a possibility, though.

Mendy has enjoyed a meteoric rise in France – he was queuing at a job centre five years ago – but talkSPORT.com has looked at Mendy’s 2019/20 stats to show fans what sort of keeper they’re getting. We’ve compared them to last season’s stats of Chelsea’s current No.1 too of course.


Edouard Mendy stats 2019/20

*Stats courtesy of FBref.com and based on Ligue 1 appearances

Played: 24

Goals against: 19

Goals against per 90 mins: 0.79

Shots on target against: 74

Saves: 59

Save percentage: 78.4

Clean sheets: 9

Clean sheet percentage: 37.5

Kepa Arrizabalaga stats 2019/20

*Stats courtesy of FBref.com and based on Premier League appearances

Played: 33

Goals against: 47

Goals against per 90 mins: 1.42

Shots on target against: 99

Saves: 55

Save percentage: 54.5

Clean sheets: 8

Clean sheet percentage: 24.2

Although Kylian Mbappe thinks otherwise, it should be noted that the French top flight isn’t as competitive as the Premier League and Mendy’s move is definitely a step up.

Mendy also played fewer matches than Kepa but still, his stats make for more impressive reading.

He conceded just 19 league goals to Kepa’s 47, and thus boasts a comfortably lower goals against per 90 minutes average.

Kepa has faced more shots on target, suggesting that Chelsea’s defence isn’t as tight in the Premier League as Rennes are in Ligue 1.

Perhaps Kepa hasn’t had as much help from his defenders than Mendy had

AFP or llicensors AFP or Licensors

Perhaps Kepa hasn’t had as much help from his defenders than Mendy had

However, Mendy has made more saves despite playing nine fewer league matches. He also has more clean sheets and a higher clean sheet percentage.

If Lampard is going purely off the stats, Mendy has to start at the Hawthorns.

West Brom away would be an ideal match for Mendy to get settled in at Chelsea

Icon Sport – Getty

West Brom away would be an ideal match for Mendy to get settled in at Chelsea

Perhaps we’re being too harsh on Kepa and goalkeepers in general though. Former Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City and England goalkeeper David James raised an interesting idea suggesting we need to change the way the men between the sticks are analysed.

James leapt to the defence of Kepa, telling White and Jordan: “You spend a lot of money and the assumption is the money equates to the performance.

“I studied Kepa before he actually came to Chelsea and he fascinated me. This guy was making saves that I hadn’t seen in the Premier League for a long time. Top end stuff, proper, proper top end stuff.

“But then he’d throw one in so you’re thinking ‘okay, there’s a flaw there but if you’ve got the right coaching and you’ve got the right environment then this guy could be the best goalkeeper in the Premier League’.

Kepa started reasonably well but tailed off towards the end of his first season before getting into terrible form last term

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Kepa started reasonably well but tailed off towards the end of his first season before getting into terrible form last term

“I’ve been in Kepa’s position, I was at Liverpool… although it was slightly different as I had a few years to back up a level of performance whereas Kepa’s just come in and hasn’t had a great start at Chelsea.

“I wasn’t protected at Liverpool, not that I needed it because I was the player and I could look after myself but I don’t think Kepa has had the protection at Chelsea either. He’s been hung out to dry. If you’re spending £72million then you’ve got to work out how to make him better.”

James also suggested Mendy isn’t necessarily the solution for Chelsea, adding: “I’ve analysed Mendy. He likes coming for crosses which will be interesting if he drops a couple in the Premier League given the opportunity, we’ll see if he comes for crosses after that. He’s good with his feet too.

“If you’re going to spend £72m on a player and then replace him with someone who’s £22m, you’re going to argue whether the environment is right for either goalkeeper.

This image suggests Mendy has no issues dealing with high crosses!

Getty Images – Getty

This image suggests Mendy has no issues dealing with high crosses!

“Liverpool had this problem for years. They brought in Simon Mignolet, the best performer in the Premier League, but certainly doesn’t improve. The next keeper comes in [Loris Karius] and doesn’t improve.

“Rather than looking at the individuals, you look at the environment they’re working in and whether its conducive to improving players.”

So who should start on Saturday, Mendy or Kepa? Jamo sat on the fence with this one though…

He said: “It’s a conversation with the player. I’m not Frank, I don’t know what Frank’s doing and it’s not for me to say that he should be doing something.

“Having been in those positions before, it would be nice to think that the goalkeeper has been given everything. If it’s the goalkeeper’s failure, even at £72m, then at least you know where the fault is.

“It just seems like it’s confirmation of ‘everyone doesn’t like him, let’s get someone else, that’ll fix the problem.’”

Chelsea fans will certainly hope their new signing is the one who will Mend-y their issues in goal!


Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and gossip and in talkSPORT.com’s LIVE blog




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