Ian Wright heaps praise on ‘unbelievable’ Chelsea FC star after award
Ian Wright salutes Edouard Mendy after the Chelsea FC star was named as the Best Fifa men’s goalkeeper
Ian Wright has lavished praise on the “unbelievable” Edouard Mendy after the Chelsea FC and Senegal goalkeeper was named as the Best Fifa men’s goalkeeper.
The Senegalese shot-stopper has become Chelsea FC’s first-choice between the posts since he was brought to the club last summer when Frank Lampard was in charge of the south west London side.
Mendy quickly replaced Kepa Arrizabalaga as the club’s first choice in goal and his fine performances helped the Blues to seal a top-four finish and win the Champions League.
The 29-year-old became the first African goalkeeper to feature in a Champions League final last year when he helped Chelsea FC to beat Manchester City 1-0 in the showpiece back last May.
Mendy has continued his strong form this season, starting 20 of Chelsea FC’s games in the Premier League for the Blues.
Now, Arsenal legend Wright has singled out Mendy for special praise for the way he has been able to turn his career around after previously finding himself out of favour during his spell in France.
Speaking on his Ringer FC podcast, as quoted by Metro, Wright said: “Let’s talk about Mendy getting best the goalkeeper in the world [award]. Did you see the celebrations when the guys were clapping him in the Senegal camp?
“What it means to those players, his country, for him to get the best goalkeeper in the world… I’m not sure people understand what that means to an African player.
“You look at where he was six years ago and where he is now and what’s happened. The inspiration that will give to not only goalkeepers in Africa, but goalkeepers in general everywhere.
“I’m delighted he’s been voted the best goalkeeper in the world. It’s an unbelievable story and I want to hear him tell it at some stage. I’d love to hear him tell that story.”
Mendy is currently on international duty with Senegal at the Africa Cup of nations.
Meanwhile, Chelsea FC will return to Premier League action with a crunch clash at home to Tottenham on Sunday afternoon. The south west London side were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Brighton in midweek, leaving them with just one win in their last five Premier League games.
Kepa, who stepped in for Mendy against Brighton, admitted that the Blues may have to focus on the cup competitions as they target silverware this season.
“We are honest,” said Kepa. “We are in good positions in all the competitions – we are in the Champions League, we have the League Cup final and the World Club Cup – but in the Premier League we have dropped points in the last month. We have to get back to winning ways because everybody is coming [up behind us].
“We need points because we want to be on top of the league, but we have to look at ourselves, improve and step up. We have another big game on Sunday, a London derby, and from there we go.”