Senegal call up Chelsea ace Edouard Mendy for AFCON
The goalkeeper has been an unlikely hero for Chelsea since joining the club in 2020. The 29-year-old has proved to be an excellent foil for Kepa Arrizabalaga and has usurped the Spaniard as the Blues number one. Mendy has not looked back since and is today a key member of Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The Senegalese greatly influenced Chelsea’s Champions League winning campaign last season. Even though he has made some blunders this season, his overall performance in 23 appearances across all competitions has been solid.
Tuchel will now have to find a way to win games without his first-choice keeper. The African Cup of Nations is set to occur in January despite huge covid concerns. The Senegal national football team that will participate in the tournament in January has called up Mendy and the 29-year-old is now set to represent his nation.
Chelsea however have less reason to be thrilled with the development. The Premier League players taking part in AFCON will most likely miss three rounds of matchdays due to the tournament and one possible added round due to the self-isolation period after the tournament’s conclusion. In addition, they will also miss the FA Cup third round of matches.
Chelsea are currently going through a rough patch. Several injuries and a Covid surge in the squad have made life difficult for Thomas Tuchel. The hectic schedule has only worsened the situation.
Mendy has played all the Champions League and Premier League games this season except for two matches. His absence would push Tuchel to utilize Kepa who to his credit has impressed this season. It could prove to be an excellent platform for the Spaniard to rebuild his reputation.
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Kepa is a capable player in his own right and has in recent games shown off his ability. However, filling Mendy’s shoes is no mean feat and the Spaniard cannot put a foot wrong in his rival’s absence. It is fair to say that the jury will be out on him in the month of January.
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