Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is happy to embrace the pressure of playing for Chelsea and admits his family helped him settle in England.
The 28-year-old was a summer signing for the Blues, with Chelsea paying Rennes £22m for his signature. The Senegal international penned a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
He has enjoyed 16 Premier League outings this term and 22 in all competitions. Both Mendy and Chelsea began the season in decent fashion.
He did not concede a goal in any of his first three top-flight games. The west Londoners won five and drew four of their first 10 league encounters.
Things have not gone so well since, with five defeats in nine matches seeing Frank Lampard jettisoned as manager. They have slipped way off the pace and, from being possible title contenders, a top-four berth now seems a tough ask.
Mendy knew it would not be easy but insists he will not duck the challenge of helping to turn things around.
“I wanted to be here because for me the Premier League is the best league in the world so I’m glad to be here,” he told Chelsea’s official website. “It was a good start but with the team it’s a difficult time. We try to keep going, to move forward and I hope the results will be good soon.
“It’s a big responsibility because this club has won so many trophies and we want to fight to win trophies every year, so the pressure is high every year, and it’s good to be part of this team.”
London a home from home
Despite representing Senegal at international level, Mendy was born in Normandy. He has played professionally for Cherbourg, Reims and Rennes – all clubs based in northern France.
And it is this aspect plus having his family with him that made it a seamless transition across the Channel.
“The weather is the same for me because I played for Rennes and I was born in Le Havre, which is just next to England,” he added. “So the weather is the same for me. I like this culture, that is why I came here a lot of times and I like to live here, to spend my time in London. I hope soon I can see the city better.
“I spend my time with my family, with my wife and my two little boys, and my sister. She gives me English lessons. She’s a very good teacher, she’s helped me a lot, and her husband as well.”
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