Edouard Mendy to Chelsea: Imminent £20m signing is ‘very influential’, highly rated by club legend Petr Cech,

Edouard Mendy to Chelsea: Imminent £20m signing is ‘very influential’, highly rated by club legend Petr Cech, thumbnail

Chelsea are looking to become genuine Premier League title contenders this season and are splashing the cash the achieve that goal. They’ve already made SIX major signings this summer and their seventh done deal is edging ever closer. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set to join Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Malang Sarr, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz on the glittering list of acquisitions. AFP or licensors Frank Lampard has already spent over £200million in the transfer window and he’s not stopping there talkSPORT understands that Chelsea have agreed a £20million fee with Rennes and the swoop will take the Blues’ summer spending to near £250million. Mendy is due to fly to London to complete his medical this week and an official announcement is expected imminently. This could turn out to be the most important signing of Chelsea’s transfer window, with Frank Lampard having seemingly run out of patience with record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga. But what exactly are Chelsea buying and can the Senegal international make them realistic challengers to Liverpool’s top-flight crown? talkSPORT.com has taken an in-depth look at Mendy as he closes in on a move to Stamford Bridge. Getty Images – Getty This is the man set to replace Kepa What’s the gossip? All roads lead to Stamford Bridge it seems as talkSPORT understands that Chelsea have agreed a fee of £20m with Rennes. This comes after the French side reportedly rejected a £14m offer from the Blues. It’s expected Mendy would become Chelsea’s first choice keeper, while Kepa and Willy Caballero would fight it out to be the 28-year-old’s understudy. If anything, these reports only raise questions about Kepa’s future at the club. He seems keen to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge but the signing of Mendy would clear Chelsea to sell Kepa, who has been linked with the likes of Barcelona this summer. Getty Images – Getty Kepa’s days at Chelsea have been numbered for some time but signing Mendy would all-but confirm it Club career so far? It wouldn’t be rude to say Mendy was an unknown quantity until last season as he really made his name at Rennes. He joined them from fellow French club Reims last summer, having spent three years there. Mendy was part of the Reims squad that won promotion to Ligue 1 in the 2017/18 season and an impressive first season in the French top flight got him Reims’ Player of the Year award and saw him shortlisted for the league’s best goalkeeper award. AFP – Getty This picture proves Mendy will be ready for the physicality of the Premier League He then joined Rennes and helped them to a third-place finish in a shortened season due to coronavirus. Before Reims, Mendy played for Marseille’s B team in 2015/16 and started his career at Cherbourg, who were in the third tier of French football at the time. Between those two clubs, French football expert Matt Spiro revealed Mendy even went to the local job centre before he joined Marseille. Suffice to say, Chelsea will be a massive step up. International experience? Mendy is earning his stripes on the international stage, clocking up seven appearances for the Senegal national team since making his debut in November 2018. Although he was born in France, Mendy was eligible for Senegal through his mother and Guinea-Bissau through his father. He received a call-up for the Guinea-Bissau squad in November 2016 for some friendlies but later pledged his future to Senegal. Mendy started the first two games of Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign in 2019 before sustaining a hand injury which ruled him out for most of the tournament. Senegal were beaten by Algeria in the final. Getty Images – Getty Mendy was Aliou Cisse’s first choice keeper for Senegal but a hand injury cut his AFCON 2019 short What’s been said about him? As mentioned, the soon-to-be Chelsea player is still a relatively unknown quantity. He’s a late bloomer and his rise has been like Leicester striker Jamie Vardy’s. The reports suggest Chelsea were told to sign him by legendary glovesman Petr Cech, who now works as a technical and performance adviser for the club he served as a player for eleven years. He’s viewed as Chelsea’s greatest ever goalkeeper so there’s no bigger compliment to a keeper looking to go to Stamford Bridge. Getty Images – Getty If Mendy is anywhere near Cech’s level, Chelsea are onto a winner However, it’s understood Mendy was on Chelsea’s radar before he joined Rennes, with Blues goalkeeping scout Christophe Lollichon waxing lyrical about the player last year. He told Le Phoceen: “He has reached maturity, with a fairly unusual path, and it is all the more meritorious. “He is what I call a proactive, very influential goalkeeper who does not suffer the game. “Reims really did a great job with him. Maybe at Marseille they could not detect the talent he had in him, but it was perhaps not the right time too. “In any case, he’s a great goalkeeper that we necessarily follow in the Premier League. “When you are nearly 2 metres (6ft 6in), with such a ground game, such placement and initiative-taking as he has, if recruiters do not look at him, it’s because they have to change jobs (laughs).” Getty Images – Getty No danger of Mendy being bullied in aerial battles in the Premier League,

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