Chelsea will be without their new Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as the Blues prepare for their return to the EPL against Southampton after the international break.
Edouard Mendy suffered a thigh injury during international duty for his national side Senegal. The Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has refused to reveal if he would be recalling error-prone goalie Kepa Arrizabalaga back into the first eleven or if it will be Willy Caballero.
Edouard Mendy was brought in from Rennes for £22million to replace the world’s most expensive keeper Kepa. Lampard had to make the difficult decision of having to drop Kepa twice last season after he made a couple of costly mistakes. He was dropped by the ex-Chelsea legend since his latest howler in sides defeat against Liverpool in September.
When asked about Edouard Mendy, Lampard said, “Mendy won’t be fit for the match tomorrow. We hope the injury isn’t too long,” Lampard told reporters on Friday. “I will make that decision myself about the goalkeepers tomorrow.”
Lampard will also be without Brazil defender Thiago Silva after his draining international duty.
“Thiago Silva after his trip is not unfit but he’s not ready to play because of the travelling and the game,” Lampard said.
There was some positive fitness news for Lampard, who said Hakim Ziyech is likely to come off the bench to make his Chelsea debut against Southampton.
Ziyech was signed from Ajax in February but didn’t officially arrive until the close-season before sustaining a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Brighton.
The 27-year-old played for Morocco against Senegal last week and Lampard is keen to see the talented playmaker in action at last.
“Hakim Ziyech is in the squad. He’s not fit to start, but fit to participate. He’ll get some minutes we hope,” Lampard said.
“We bought Hakim here, it feels like a long time ago now. He hasn’t played since the Dutch league finished during the lockdown.
“He’s been fantastic in terms of his professionalism to get fit. He’s worked so hard.
“It’s just game minutes we need now. Of course, I am excited to get him in and around it, to get what we brought him to the club for, which is to create chances, to be a talented player that we saw at Ajax. I look forward to seeing him play.”
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