Lampard concerned by Mendy injury blow, but warns Kepa about filling in

Edouard Mendy

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he is unsure whether goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will fill in for the injured Edouard Mendy on Saturday.

New signing Mendy had an easy afternoon on his debut for the international break; the Senegalese had little to do in the Blues 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace before the international break.

However he has picked up a thigh problem while on duty with his country, with Lampard hoping the issue is not serious.

He will, though, miss Saturday’s clash against Southampton and Lampard has not decided whether Kepa or third-choice Willy Caballero will fill in.

Lampard also confirmed that Thiago Silva will not feature and that Ben Chilwell has shrugged off his problem.

“Mendy won’t be fit for the match tomorrow, we hope the injury’s not too long,” the coach told reporters. “Thiago Silva after his trip, he’s not unfit but he’s not ready to play the game because of the travelling and the game that he played. So he won’t be in the squad.

Ben Chilwell is in the squad, so he’s got over some of the feeling he had that took him out of the England squad around the injury he’s had for a while now.

“Christian Pulisic is in the squad and fit to play, Hakim Ziyech in the squad. He’s not fit to start but fit to participate for some minutes we hope.”

Asked about who could step in for Mendy, Lampard said: “I’ll make that decision myself out of the goalkeepers for tomorrow.”

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Lampard welcomes Ziyech fitness



Should Ziyech feature against the Saints, it will be his first appearance for Chelsea since his move from Ajax.

The Moroccan picked up a knee injury in a pre-season match in August but earned minutes during the international break.

Lampard said it will be welcoming to have the new signing enter the fray.

“We brought Hakim here and it feels like a long time ago now, but he also hasn’t played since the Dutch league finished during lockdown,” the manager said.

“It’s a long time and he’s worked so hard. He’s been fantastic in terms of his professionalism to get fit, and he looks really good in training.

“I’ve got a really open relationship with him to know where he’s at, and how I feel about it. So it’s just game minutes that we need now.

“But yes of course I’m excited to get him in and around it, to bring what we brought him to the club for. Which is the opportunity to create chances for us, to be the talented player that he is and we saw at Ajax. And I look forward to seeing him play.”

Chelsea head into Saturday’s match having lost to Southampton in the same fixture last season.