After making key signings in other areas, Chelsea are now focused on the goalkeeping department with Rennes’ Edouard Mendy set to join the West Londoners.
It’s no surprise to see a new shot-stopper on his way to Stamford Bridge following how horrendous Kepa Arrizabalaga was in the just-concluded season.
While it is true that the back four were also culpable in Chelsea’s worst defensive record for close to three decades, the man behind them didn’t cover himself in glory either.
Chelsea have delivered a statement of intent this window by signing Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr and more recently, Kai Havertz.
Per Simon Johnson via The Athletic, a deal for Edouard Mendy is close to its completion. Although, Peter Cech believes that all hope is not lost for Kepa as Mendy edges closer to joining Chelsea from the same side where Cech also arrived from.
How much of an upgrade is Edouard Mendy on Kepa
Judging from their last season’s statistics, the Senegalese is a significant level ahead of his Spanish counterpart.
In the Ligue 1 season that was prematurely nipped in the bud due to COVID-19, only Stade de Reims let in fewer goals than Mendy’s Rennes. For better context, he conceded 19 goals in 24 games, making 2.5 saves per game with an accuracy of 76%.
On the other hand, Kepa shipped 47 league goals in 33 appearances and recorded a meagre 1.7 saves per game with an accuracy of 54% which was the lowest in the division.
Mendy’s 19 goals came from a combined post-shot xG of 19.7 while Kepa’s 47 came from a total of 35.4. With a 9cm differential in height, Mendy is also more adept in dealing with aerial situations.
This was a major Achilles heel in Chelsea’s performances last season as only Norwich let in more from set-pieces than Frank Lampard’s men. Overall, the 28-year-old is definitely an improvement on what The Blues currently have going into next season.
With another major issue set to be fixed, could Chelsea launch a proper title challenge next season? Only time will tell.