Mendy 28, who joined the blues for a fee believed to be in the region of £22million from Rennes, and was initially signed to provide competition for Arrizabalaga.
Mendy has finally break silence on his relationship with Kepa after Frank Lampard confirmed him as the first keeper for Chelsea.
Édouard Mendy: ‘I have been aware that Petr Cech has been watching my matches for a number of years and it is always really pleasing to hear he has been saying he liked my profile and the way I was performing. So after my season at Rennes, the offer came in from Chelsea…
Mendy: “and it is a source of great pride for me to join this club, and thanks to Petr and also Christoph [Lollichon – a current coach at Chelsea and a former one at Rennes] who were following me.”
Mendy: “Here at Chelsea obviously everybody approved my signing, and now it is up to me to show that they were right to take an interest in me and to have brought me to the club.”
‘There are a lot of African players in the Premier League and the Premier League is the best league in the world so that’s a really positive thing,’ he noted.
‘I know also that there are only a few African goalkeepers but that doesn’t give me a particular pressure. It’s a source of pride for me to be an African goalkeeper in the Premier League.
‘It’s up to me to show that as an African goalkeeper I can really perform at this level and perhaps change people’s mentality to these things.’
‘I can’t tell you why,’ he answered. ‘When you look at other leagues, there are more playing around Europe. In France, there are four or five at least and perhaps it’s something that can be explained in different ways — maybe the profile of the player isn’t right or the coach has other ideas of the sorts of players he’s looking for.
‘Right now it’s true that I’m the only African goalkeeper in the Premier League and so it’s a responsibility because there are expectations surrounding that.
‘I just need to make sure I carry on working hard and doing my best in training and in matches so that other goalkeepers can follow me into this league and have that opportunity.’
‘I have a very good relationship with Kepa,’ he added. ‘I think the group of goalkeepers we have are all very open and all of us understand that the team is the most important thing here and doing what’s right for the group.
‘Our relationships are all really good, and we work well together. We’re pushing each other every day to improve ourselves and to improve each other. We know as goalkeepers that we have to stay united and that’s how things are going at the moment.’