Chelsea-bound Edouard Mendy is “far better” than current No 1 Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to former Blues defender Frank Leboeuf. Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Rennes goalkeeper Mendy for a fee of around £22million. The 28-year-old has been undertaking his medical and is set to be announced as a Blues player imminently.
Mendy will cost considerably less than the world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper that Chelsea paid for Arrizabalaga two years ago.
The Spain international has not been able to live up to the £71.6m price tag and has already made two mistakes in Chelsea’s opening two Premier League games of the season.
Mendy has spent just one season at Rennes in Ligue 1 but has shown enough to attract the interest of Chelsea technical advisor Petr Cech, who played for the French club before his illustrious career at Stamford Bridge.
And from what Leboeuf has seen of Mendy, he thinks the deal will prove to be a bargain for his old club.
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“Well, comparing what we see from Kepa, and Kepa is doing what he does best – mistakes – yes Mendy is far much better than that,” Leboeuf said on ESPN FC.
“He had a very good season in Reims, signed for Rennes and had a very good season for Rennes.
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“So I am very confident that he can do the job and much better than Kepa and even much better than [Willy] Caballero.
“So I don’t know if there is another goalkeeper who Chelsea could find but for that amount of money, yeah it’s kind of a bargain to have Mendy.
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“He’s a tall goalkeeper, very agile and I’m sure he’s going to do the job.
“But Kepa cannot do the job anymore. It’s over.”
Arrizabalaga was guilty of a huge error in Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to reigning champions Liverpool, gifting the ball to Sadio Mane with a misplaced ball out from the back.
And Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits the 25-year-old will need support from the club through this difficult period.
“It’s a clear mistake that has cost us,” said Lampard.
“We have to keep working, Kepa has to keep working and he has to have support around him, that’s very clear.
“Individually players need support, particularly from myself, and I give that to all the players.
“And now we’ve got to try to give him confidence, because that’s important.
“Nobody tries to make mistakes in football, that’s the nature of the game.”
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