EPL

Cech the benchmark for new signing Mendy - Lampard

By Sports Desk September 22, 2020

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has challenged goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to replicate Petr Cech's career at Stamford Bridge as he puts the finishing touches on his expected move from Rennes.

Lampard confirmed Senegal international Mendy, 28, will join his squad subject to a medical and compete with the much-maligned Kepa Arrizabalaga to be the Blues' first-choice goalkeeper.

Chelsea spent £71milliion on Kepa in 2018 - which remains a world-record fee for a keeper - but he was dropped last season following a string of errors and was at fault for Liverpool's second goal in the Blues' 2-0 defeat on Sunday, passing the ball straight to goalscorer Sadio Mane.

Mendy will be following the journey Cech made when he signed from Rennes in 2004 and Lampard hopes he sees the Czech as an example after he won a slew of titles at the club, including four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three EFL Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League.

"Every keeper has their journey," Lampard said ahead of the EFL Cup tie against Barnsley.

"Petr Cech turned up as a young lad here, as a young goalkeeper from Ligue 1 in France, and created his own story here at the time with his own hard work and qualities, so that is the benchmark for any goalkeeper that comes to Chelsea to try and emulate.

"It's very tough because of what Petr managed to do in his career here but everyone has that opportunity so that's the challenge, not just for Mendy but every player in the squad."

Lampard explained he has an open-door policy with Kepa and has been keen to frequently speak to the 25-year-old during his rough spell, trying to cajole him back to form.

"I think if you lack communication in these moments to speak with Kepa, to speak with any players that are having difficult times, they don't understand how you feel," he added.

"They see that void as something that could be negative, so it's very important I speak to Kepa or any player in that situation and I have done, my door is open.

"Having tough times comes to every player at any moment during a career and how you come back through them will define you in terms of your longevity and what you manage to achieve at the end of your career.

"So I would always be very open with players. For me, what gets a player through low confidence is hard work, head down and hard work. No blame game, look at yourself, see how you can get better. That's the same for every player."

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