The omission of Edouard Mendy from the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or has been questioned by one of his Chelsea teammates after his latest clean sheet.
Mendy has been hugely impressive since joining Chelsea in the summer of 2020. He quickly settled in and established himself as their number one. By the end of his debut season with the club, he was a Champions League winner.
The goalkeeper has carried his form over into this season, most recently helping to shut out Brentford in a 1-0 win despite the opponents having seven shots on target in comparison to Chelsea’s one.
His performance was a timely reminder of his importance to a successful side, coming shortly after he did not make it onto the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.
Five Chelsea players are in contention for the prestigious award: Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Romelu Lukaku and Mason Mount.
But there was little recognition overall for goalkeepers; only Gianluigi Donnarumma of Paris Saint-Germain is in the 30-strong group. Mendy, therefore, was overlooked.
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has already aired his views on the subject, swerving the attention away from individual awards.
He said after the win over Brentford: “I’m happy and it is more important that he performs like this than he is on any list.
“It should not, and I hope it does not, bother him because it does not bother me too much and it seems like he is not influenced by that, which is a good thing.”
But another member of the Chelsea setup has expressed his own opinion after watching his teammate’s heroics.
Antonio Rudiger has also been instrumental to Chelsea’s growth under Tuchel. He was absent for the Brentford game, though, due to injury.
Mendy was thus playing behind a makeshift backline of Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen and Malang Sarr. But Rudiger was obviously keeping a close eye on proceedings.
After the game, the German defender shared his enthusiasm for the man who normally plays behind him.
“Someone explain why he’s not nominated for the Ballon d’Or,” Rudiger tweeted, along with three puzzled face emojis. “What a performance… EDOUARD MENDY.”
Someone explain why he’s not nominated for the ballon d’or 🤔🤔🤔 What a performance… EDOUARD MENDY 💪🏾
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) October 16, 2021
Mendy is, incidentally, in contention to win the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper, for which there are 10 nominees.
He already earned the honour of being the Best Goalkeeper at the UEFA Club Football Awards for the 2020-21 season.
Mendy praised by Chilwell
Another player to sing the praises of the Senegal international was Ben Chilwell, whose goal was the difference at the other end.
The left-back said: “Mendy was superb.
“We see it every day in training and he is now getting the credit he deserves in these games by making big saves to get us the points.”
Chilwell added: “We showed our steel and how strong we are defensively. We spoke about coming out and trying to get back in the swing of things.
“The preparation is not brilliant but it is about mentality and that was there.
“You have ups and downs the important thing is to train hard and when you get your chances take it.”
Chelsea are top of the league as a result of their victory, which was their sixth of the season so far in the competition.