Edouard Mendy will complete his long-anticipated move to Chelsea on Tuesday – but the transfer has prompted Frank Lampard to fire a warning to under-fire keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Rennes goalkeeper was undergoing a medical at Chelsea on Tuesday lunchtime. Blues boss Lampard expects the 28-year-old to complete his move shortly afterwards with a fee of £22m having been agreed.
TEAMtalk revealed earlier this month that complications had arisen in the final stages of the deal. However, there was always optimism that it would go through.
Mendy’s arrival will bring competition for Spain goalkeeper Kepa. He has struggled badly for form and confidence, prompting Gary Neville to make these comments.
Kepa produced his latest pivotal mistake in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League. Mendy’s arrival will put the £72million Spain star’s place under great pressure.
“Mendy’s having a medical as we speak. Subject to that being OK, later on he’ll become our player at that point,” Lampard said.
“With Mendy coming in it’s more competition, so every reaction will have to be positive around that from Kepa.
“Mendy as he comes in himself will push to try and play in this team, we know that.
“We know the standards that are required from a goalkeeper in this team, so we have to push for that.”
Lampard confirmed technical director Petr Cech has influenced Mendy’s signing, given the former Chelsea stopper’s specialist goalkeeping knowledge.
“Petr was important in that because goalkeeper is a very particular position and Petr Cech obviously knows that role very well,” said Lampard.
“And Petr will obviously have a big say in this situation from my point of view, and I lean heavily on him. So he was very influential.”
Kepa told to react to Mendy
Challenging Kepa to react positively to Mendy’s arrival, Lampard continued: “Football is always in your hands, in the current moment and going forward.
“So competition is important of course. We have brought Mendy in to bring that competition. We know it’s an area that Kepa himself wants to improve in his own performance.
“So it’s in everybody’s hands in the squad to push, to train, to have the right attitude, to try to compete to get in the team.
“So that remains the same, so I’m not making any final statements at all at the minute, football’s not like that.”