Monday, January 30, 2023

Edouard Mendy breaks silence on Chelsea contract talks amid World Cup transfer plan

Edouard Mendy breaks silence on Chelsea contract talks amid World Cup transfer plan

It is easy to overlook how much Edouard Mendy has accomplished over the previous 18 months. The Chelsea goalkeeper has fallen out of favor as a result of people focusing on his deficiencies rather than his strengths.

Since winning the African Cup of Nations with Senegal in February, the 30-year- old’s  play has deteriorated, and his future at Stamford Bridge is uncertain as Graham Potter designated Kepa Arrizabalaga his first-choice goalkeeper.

Potter, who favours a ball-playing No. 1, only selected Mendy after Kepa was injured against Brighton, and the Champions League-winning goalkeeper has only appeared in league games in which Chelsea has lost since October.

All of this occurs at a time when the Blues had hoped to begin contract negotiations. Since joining the club in 2020, Mendy has participated in six cup finals, won the Champions League and the African Cup of Nations, and helped his country qualify for the World Cup in 2022.

His ascension, after being signed for for £22 million, is one of Chelsea’s biggest transfer success stories in recent years, but this year things have changed. 

Mendy’s confidence with the ball appears to be at an all-time low, and it appears to be even lower when compared to Kepa.

Towards the close of Thomas Tuchel’s tenure, he was already appearing less secure at the back, and Potter’s declaration of his present position has raised worries about his long-term future.

There were rumors during the summer that Chelsea was seeking new goaltending alternatives, with Jordan Pickford on their shortlist. Mendy’s refusal to sign a new contract is not a pressing concern, given his current contract expires in 2025, but it does indicate that things are not as smooth as they could be.

It is not uncommon for contract negotiations to take time, as evidenced by Mason Mount, but Mendy’s bargaining position has weakened in recent months, and he has stated that the World Cup is his current priority. Senegal are viewed as having a legitimate opportunity to pull off an upset during the tournament, and Mendy will play a significant role in that.

Speaking to Wettbasis, he said: “I am in Qatar primarily to represent my country and do everything I can to ensure that we have a successful tournament. We’ll see what happens next with the Blues.

“The season is still very long. Recently I got a few games again. One thing is certain: I will continue to give it my all in the hope of getting more playing time again.”

Mendy was elected Senegal’s footballer of the year in 2021 and has won three titles during his time at SW6. However, he acknowledged that winning the AFCON was a greater accomplishment than winning the Champions League.

 “Indeed, for me, even if you could certainly argue about that,” he explained. “To be honest, the AFCON triumph gave me ten times more goosebumps than Porto in May 2021. That’s a fact.

“Possibly the Covid situation also played a role because in the Champions League back then no fans were allowed and we weren’t even allowed to party with our supporters in the streets of London.”

The majority of Mendy’s success at Chelsea was under Tuchel, but like the rest of the team, he has struggled in the Premier League thus far. Despite this, Mendy has positive memories of his time under German rule.

 “I will always remember Thomas Tuchel very positively,” he added.

“The time with the Blues was super awesome with him. He has always given the maximum for his players and strived for the maximum. He could identify 1000% with his task.

“He was always straight forward, honest and loyal to his players. I really enjoyed my time with him. He came with his own ideas, his own game philosophy and it immediately suited our squad. Just four months after succeeding Frank Lampard, Chelsea have won the Champions League. That was sensational.”

Edouard Mendy breaks silence on Chelsea contract talks amid World Cup transfer plan

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