Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says that he would prefer it if goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was not in the spotlight for making saves.
The 29-year-old has proved a fantastic signing for the Blues since his arrival from Rennes last September. In fact, in his first year at the club, he has scooped UEFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year award. That came following his influence in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph last season.
However, he has started the season in similar form. He set a personal best of six saves for the Blues in a single match during the recent 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Mendy earned the Man of the Match award in that match, but he has also proved his worth with four clean sheets in all competitions already this season.
Despite his influence, Tuchel has insisted that he would prefer the spotlight to be on other players.
“I don’t like it too much when he’s in the spotlight,” the manager told the club’s website.
“I like it more when he gets the praise from us for one-and-a-half saves, for being concentrated, for pushing the line up high and clearing some situations as a sweeper.
“If he is more or less invisible to the spectators in the stadium then I’m super happy. It means we did not allow many chances.”
Chelsea may have kept three Premier League clean sheets so far this term, but they have had to work for those results.
Against Aston Villa last weekend, the away side could have been ahead at half time after a barrage of chances. However, Mendy made some important saves.
Tuchel insisted that he would rather iron out his side’s problems and improvements while the season is young.
Tuchel wants continued Chelsea progress
“He’s [Mendy] been in the spotlight the last few games and on one hand that’s not the most satisfying feeling for a coach,” he added.
“On the other hand, it is because we can rely on him. We have to accept things are not too easy at the moment. I even like these tough matches and tough moments because it sharpens our mentality.
“It’s a good part of the season to struggle a little bit.
“It’s better than having everything in place and then suddenly in November or December not knowing what’s going on. Now we can progress and get better.”
Chelsea’s fourth clean sheet of the season came in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg.