Edouard MendySenegalese Footballer
Edouard Mendy is an Senegalese footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Chelsea FC.
• Date of birth: 1 March 1992
• Age: 30 years old
• Place of birth: Montivilliers, France
• Nationality: Senegalese / French
• Position: Goalkeeper
• Height: 194cm / 6ft 4ins
• Weight: 86kg / 189lbs
• Wages: £52,000 per week (Unconfirmed)
The 30-year-old goalkeeper was born in Montivilliers, France, in March 1992, to a Senegalese mother and a Guinea-Bissauan father.
He started his youth career as a goalkeeper at Le Havre AC at the age of 13 and eventually earned a move to Cherbourg. After a brief stint at Marseille, Mendy joined Reims and then went on to move to Rennes.
Mendy signed for Premier League club Chelsea FC in a big-money deal in the summer of 2020, while Frank Lampard was in charge of the south west London side.
He quickly established himself as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper and helped the Blues to win the Champions League in the 2020-21 season.
Mendy has been a regular fixture in the Senegal national team since making his debut in 2018.
So, what do we know about Mendy’s journey to becoming the top goalkeeper that he is today? This is his story.
Early Life, Parents And Upbringing
Edouard Mendy (full name: Edouard Osoque Mendy) was born on 1 March 1992 in Montivilliers, France, to a Senegalese mother and a Guinea-Bissauan father.
He began his footballing career in his native France and joined the Le Havre academy when he was 13 years old but after struggling to hold down a regular playing spot, he dropped down the levels to gain playing time with CS Municipaux Le Havre.
AS Cherbourg signed Mendy when he was 19, and three years later, Olympique de Marseille signed him, but he struggled to gain regular playing time and his career only really began to take off when he signed for Stade de Reims in the summer of 2016.
Before he joined Marseille and after leaving Cherbourg, Mendy admitted that he was having serious doubts about his footballing career during a spell in unemployment in 2014.
“I had to take unemployment support at that time so I could dedicate myself totally to football,” Mendy said in an interview in 2020.
“If someone had said to me six years ago when I didn’t have a club that I would end up here [at Chelsea FC], I wouldn’t have even bothered looking at or listening to them. I did genuinely have my doubts about whether I would carry on.”
Stade de Reims
Mendy signed for Stade de Reims during the 2016-17 Ligue 1 season and initially struggled to break into the first team.
However, he managed to impress when called upon and secured a spot as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper in the 2017-18 campaign, helping Reims to win the Ligue 2 title and secure promotion to Ligue 1.
In the 2018-19 season, Mendy started all 38 of Reims’ Ligue 1 games as they sealed an impressive eight-placed finish, with the Senegalese goalkeeper keeping 14 clean sheets.
His impressive performances between the posts for Reims had not gone unnoticed, and in the summer of 2019, a move to French side Rennes beckoned.
Rennes signed Mendy for an undisclosed transfer fee on 6 August 2019.
He made his debut for his new club in their third Ligue 1 game of the season after recovering from a finger injury, with Mendy helping his side to keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win away at Strasbourg.
The impressive goalkeeper went on to keep nine clean sheets in 24 Ligue 1 games for Rennes in a season that was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rennes finished third in the table to secure qualification for the Champions League.
After much speculation, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea FC announced the signing of Mendy from Rennes on 24 September 2020.
He signed an initial five-year contract with the Blues and the transfer fee was reported to be around £22m.
Upon signing for the Blues, Mendy admitted that it was a “dream” to seal a transfer to the Premier League club.
‘I am so excited to be joining Chelsea,” Mendy said at the time. “It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff. I look forward to meeting my team-mates and can’t wait to get started.”
Mendy made his debut for Chelsea FC in the fourth round of the League Cup against Tottenham Hotspur on 29 September 2020, a game which the Blues lost on penalties.
He made his first Premier League appearance for the London side on 3 October 2020, with the shot-stopper keeping a clean sheet in a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
In November 2020, and after having worked with Mendy at Chelsea FC for a few weeks, then-Blues boss Lampard admitted that he had been very impressed by what he had seen from the shot-stopper.
“He has shown his qualities that we brought him into the club for,” Lampard said of Mendy in November 2020. “All the feedback was he had a great personality, a strong personality in the dressing room, and everything I heard, all those positives, came true. It seems his personality is pretty laid-back with a tough edge when it comes to work.
“He is very low maintenance, he works hard, he wants to work more, and he is eager to engage with his team-mates and myself. He has a smile on his face so it’s a real positive when you have a player that comes in and hits the ground running on the pitch and in the dressing room.”
Despite Lampard’s sacking in January 2021, the season ended up being a positive one for Mendy and Chelsea FC. After Thomas Tuchel was brought in as Lampard’s replacement, Chelsea FC sealed a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League and reached the Champions League final.
Mendy became the first African goalkeeper to play in a Champions League final as he helped Chelsea FC to claim a 1-0 win over Manchester City and win the trophy.
During that campaign, Mendy equalled the record for the most clean sheets in a Champions League season. He kept nine clean sheets to help the Blues win the competition.
Mendy made some appearances in friendly matches for Guinea-Bissau, the country his father was from, around 2016. He was called up by Guinea-Bissau to play for them at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, but he ultimately rejected the call and pledged his allegiance to Senegal.
He made his senior international debut for Senegal during a 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea on 18 November 2018 and was able to establish himself as his country’s first-choice goalkeeper in the following games.
Life Away From The Pitch
During his spell in unemployment in 2014 after leaving lower-league Cherbourg, Mendy admitted that he started looking for jobs outside of football before Marseille came calling.
“It was incredibly difficult and also my partner was expecting our first baby and so the unemployment support wasn’t going to be enough for us, we needed something else, and so I did start looking for other work,” says Mendy. “But then I had the opportunity to go to Marseille and I was given a trial there. Fortunately for me it worked, and when it did it was like a complete relief for me.
“Because one year to go without football is an incredibly long time. I had many, many doubts during that time. But it was thanks to my family, who helped so much in those moments to keep me strong.”
What Have Others Said?
Former Manchester United star Gary Neville on Mendy’s man-of-the-match performance against Brentford in October 2021: “He [Mendy] was absolutely brilliant. If you’re going to win a title there are going to be games where you don’t play well, you don’t deserve to win the game but your goalkeeper makes two or three world class saves. He was brilliant today Mendy.
“It’s a lot more difficult to score against Chelsea, not just because of the change to the back five, which Thomas Tuchel brought in, but also the goalkeeper.”
Thomas Tuchel, speaking in September 2021, on working with Mendy at Chelsea FC: “I’m super happy with him. He’s an outstanding guy with a fantastic personality, super humble, super calm. His development from the first day has been outstanding. He plays with so much confidence. It’s so hard to score against him in training.
“Our goalkeeper coaches and the second and third goalkeepers did a fantastic job, because only if they are a top team and push each other to the limits can a number one perform like he performs. He is calm because he feels safe in his environment. Every top team needs a top goalkeeper, and we have one.”