Edouard Mendy has opened up on his delight at following in the footsteps of many African footballing greats by signing for Chelsea.
The Senegal star completed his £22million move to Stamford Bridge from Rennes on Thursday and will become the first African goalkeeper to represent the Blues.
The 28-year-old is the latest in a host of stars from the continent who have played for Chelsea over the years, including John Obi Mikel, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o and Michael Essien.
And Mendy is well aware Chelsea’s rich history with African players means there will be a weight of expectation on him to perform.
“Most of the biggest African talent has played for this team,” Mendy told the club’s official website.
“Drogba, Essien, Eto’o, Mikel. When you see that, you want to continue it. Regarding the goalkeeper, I am the first, so it really makes me very proud, and it’s also a big responsibility.”
Mendy has been signed to provide competition for out-of-form shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga after Blues boss Frank Lampard grew tired of the Spaniard’s mistakes between the sticks.
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And the former Ligue 1 star declared he is ready for the trip to West Brom on Saturday evening, saying: “Yes, I’m fit.
“Even though I have not played a match for a while I have been training as usual with Rennes. I have also played an in-house match in training recently, so I am feeling good.”
Mendy is understood to have taken part in his first training session with his new teammates on Friday.
The 6’6″ goalkeeper also discussed the “privilege” of signing for his boyhood club, adding: “I’m very proud.
“When a club like Chelsea is interested in you, it means you’ve done great work every weekend.
“Everyone knows Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and everyone would like to play for this team, but not everyone can.
“To have a chance to wear this shirt and defend the club’s colours, it’s a privilege.”
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