Chelsea have announced the signing of Edouard Mendy from Rennes, with the goalkeeper costing £22 million ($29m).
The Senegalese international has penned a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge and will compete with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero for a starting spot between the posts in the season ahead.
After signing his long-term contract with the Blues, Mendy said: ‘‘I am so excited to be joining Chelsea. It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff. I look forward to meeting my team-mates and can’t wait to get started.’’
On signing Mendy, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “As soon as Petr Cech and our technical team identified Edouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in. Edouard arrives following a season of real success with Rennes, he is ambitious for more, and we welcome him to our club.”
Born in Montivilliers in northern France, Mendy began his career at AS Cherbourg in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football, and remained with the Normandy-based club until 2014.
Following a brief spell at Marseille B without making an appearance, the goalkeeper began to move up the footballing pyramid in 2016 by joining Reims and quickly established himself as the first choice between the sticks.
His impressive and consistent performances for Les Rouges et Blancs resulted in him lifting the first silverware of his career, when Reims captured the Ligue 2 title in 2018 and conceded just 24 goals that term, the lowest in the league.
After three years at Reims, Mendy moved on and joined Rennes ahead of the 2019/20 season. In his first campaign at Roazhon Park, the 6ft 5in goalie kept 13 clean sheets and conceded just 31 goals in 33 games before the season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He helped Rennes qualify for the Champions League for the first time last season, with the French club finishing third in Ligue 1. Mendy has European club competition experience under his belt already, having featured in four Europa League games last term.
Although born in France, Mendy opted to represent Senegal – the country of birth of his mother – at international level and has eight caps for the West African country.
His father is of Guinea-Bissau descent and Mendy did actually represent that country in a friendly match against Portugal in 2016. He declined an invitation to commit to playing for Guinea-Bissau at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and later made his debut for Senegal in 2018.
The 28-year-old is not the first goalkeeper to make the move from Rennes to Chelsea. A certain Petr Cech also followed that path in 2004.