Premier League • England

Chelsea offload wantaway star for £17m as radical Pochettino squad rebuild continues

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy catches the ball

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy catches the ball

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has joined Saudi club Al Ahli for a fee of £17m, with Mauricio Pochettino now tasked with bringing in a replacement.

The Senegal international has impressed for the Blues in the past but fell behind Kepa Arrizabalaga in the pecking order last season.

Mendy now becomes the latest Premier League player to head to Saudi, with a number of Premier League players making the big-money switch.

For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al Nassr last year. More recently, Riyad Mahrez and Roberto Firmino have also been linked with moves to Saudi. 

What’s certain, however, is that Mendy will be playing for Al Ahli next season, after Chelsea accepted an offer in the region of £17m.

This comes after he rejected a contract extension from the club last year after his salary demands weren’t met.

Mendy’s move to Saudi was prematurely confirmed by Blues centre-back Wesley Fofana.

“My big brother, I will miss you. All the best to you and your family,” Fofana wrote – in French – on an Instagram post dedicated to Mendy.

Now, it remains to be seen whether or not the defender will face punishment for revealing the goalkeeper’s departure before it was official.

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Mendy becomes latest Chelsea star to leave

Mendy made 105 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea. He played a key role in some of the Blues’ recent success, too, helping them to win the Champions League in 2021.

In fact, Mendy won the FIFA Best Men’s Goalkeeper Award in the same year. So, there is no doubt that he can be a quality player on his day.

Now, with the 31-year-old heading to Saudi, Pochettino will need to bring in a replacement.

Andre Onana has been on the manager’s radar for some time, for example. However, he now looks set to join Manchester United. So, the Blues will have to look for alternatives.

Mendy certainty won’t be the last player to leave Chelsea this summer as Pochettino looks to rebuild his Chelsea squad.

For instance, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has just joined AC Milan, Mateo Kovacic has signed for Manchester City and N’Golo Kante, like Mendy, left for Saudi earlier this summer.

The likes of Chirstian Pulisic and Mason Mount are also heavily linked with departures. So, Chelsea’s team could look very different next season.

With that in mind, Chelsea will have to make several signings to replace those players. So, it’s going to be a very interesting transfer window for Blues fans.

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