Ferdinand heaps praise on ‘tremendous’ Chelsea star

Date published: Tuesday 19th October 2021 5:35 - Jason Soutar

Rio Ferdinand during a BT Sport broadcast

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on “tremendous” Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

The Senegal shot-stopper was on top form on Saturday as the Blues edged past Brentford.

He made numerous saves to keep a clean sheet and guide Thomas Tuchel’s men to a 1-0 win at the Brentford Community Stadium.

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Reflecting on Chelsea’s victory on his YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “Mendy was unreal. He’s got to be one of the signings of last season.

“Shout out to Frank Lampard for signing him because that was a great bit of business. But what a performance!

“A goalkeeper that will instil confidence in a backline. You look back and go, ‘Yeah, my man is protecting us, don’t worry! They breach us, he’s there and they’ve still got another wall to go through.'”

The 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist was revealed last week, with Chelsea’s Champions League-winning stars Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount and Jorginho all included.

But Mendy – the first African goalkeeper to win the trophy – was not, with Euro 2020 winner Gianluigi Donnarumma the only goalkeeper nominated for the award.

Asked if he thought Mendy’s omission was a surprise, Ferdinand replied: “Yeah, I do.

“I think Mendy is massively overlooked. His performances, the amount of clean sheets he’s had… nobody has had more clean sheets in the Premier League since Thomas Tuchel has been here.

“He’s been tremendous. Every game I’ve watched him live and every game I’ve watched on the TV, he’s done something in the game that makes me go: “That’s why they’ve bought him.

“He can be quiet for the whole game and then he just pulls out that save and that’s concentration. They’re the best goalkeepers.”

Elsewhere, Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku is “mentally tired” as he has played too much football.

He hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge, also scoring a brace against Aston Villa before netting against Zenit in the Champions League.

However, his header against Zenit on September 14 is his most recent goal as he has gone the last six club matches without scoring.

Ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League encounter against Malmo on Wednesday, Tuchel was asked if his players are still adjusting to having Lukaku in the team.

“In the very moment in my opinion I feel Romelu has overplayed, I think he has played in too many competitions over the summer, too many with the national team and now he’s played in the Nations League,” Tuchel said.


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