Another summer of significant spending took place at Stamford Bridge with the likes of Timo Werner, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz arriving in West London for hefty transfer fees. But it could be their new goalkeeper that proves to be the most significant purchase of all with Edouard Mendy instantly winning over the Chelsea faithful.
Youth football over Europe is big business. Agents are constantly on the lookout to snare young, precocious talent from every corner and if a player is sought after by one of the biggest clubs on the continent, players can be earning millions of pounds whilst still a teenager.
Whilst this tried and tested football pyramid is used the world over, there are plenty of talented players that slip through the net and the effect that can have on some individuals is crippling. As a youngster, Edouard Mendy found himself down the pecking order at French 3rd division side Cherbourg FC and by the time he was in his early 20’s he was unemployed–looking for work away from his football commitments.
Undeterred from following his dream, Mendy decided to train, unpaid with as many teams as possible before he was picked up by Marseille B team as a reserve keeper. His attitude impressed many of the coaches and staff and he was then recommended to third tier Reims who were in need of a keeper.
Once again, Mendy had to fight hard for his place in the team but by the 2016/17 season he was in the starting XI. The Senegalese international was hugely influential in securing 2 promotions in three years for Reims–who returned to Ligue 1 for the first time in 30 years.
Mendy’s performances were gaining notoriety with his incredible shot-stopping and assured presence in goal attracting the attention of Rennes. As has been the case throughout his career, Mendy’s arrival was hugely influential as Rennes went on to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history–after finishing 3rd in the Ligue 1 table.
With success following him everywhere he goes, it was no surprise to see Chelsea sign Edouard Mendy in the summer of 2020 for a reported £25 million.
And with the blues seemingly unrelenting in their pursuit of success, Mendy’s never give up attitude could be inspirational in their pursuit of trophies this season.