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Edouard Mendy: Fall from grace makes Chelsea departure inevitable

Faced with the first bottom-half finish in the Premier League since 1996, Chelsea will undergo massive changes in the summer to steady the ship and return to be competitive higher up the table next season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s era at Stamford Bridge is about to begin, and one of the first tasks on the new manager’s assignment list will be to trim down the Blues’ bloated squad.

Since acquiring the ownership from Roman Abramovich last summer, Todd Boehly has filled the Chelsea roster with overpaid and, more importantly, unnecessary signings.

Edouard Mendy is not one of them, but the Senegal international seems to have no future in west London despite enjoying a rise to stardom during the early stage of his Premier League career.

According to The Athletic, the 31-year-old goalkeeper will not be part of Pochettino’s plans for Chelsea next season after his career at the Bridge took a downward trajectory.

Mendy, who moved to London from Rennes for an initial £22 million in 2020, wasted no time winning over the club’s fans with an immediate impact between the sticks.

During his first season at the club, the Senegalese star played an influential role in helping the team win the Champions League title, keeping a record-equalling nine clean sheets in the competition.

His impressive goalkeeping skills made him an outside candidate for the Ballon d’Or that year.

But even though he narrowly missed out on the 30-man shortlist, he still received individual recognition for his contribution with the Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper for 2021 award in January 2022.

Chelsea fans stood firmly behind Mendy, who replaced underperforming Kepa Arrizabalaga and helped the team win the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea last season.

However, the keeper’s career has since been in a steady decline, with the Spaniard reclaiming his place in goal this term under four different managers, including caretaker boss Frank Lampard.

That’s particularly strange because Lampard preferred Mendy over the ex-Athletic Bilbao stopper during his first stint at Chelsea.

Since taking over the interim charge of the team in April, the former midfielder has stuck with Arrizabalaga as his first-choice keeper, leaving the Senegal international on the bench.

But Mendy was given a rare chance to start in a 2-2 home draw against Nottingham Forest last weekend, although he’d wish it didn’t happen.

The same fanbase that used to worship him only a year ago has seemingly turned their backs on him on Saturday, mockingly roaring whenever he was called into action.

These incidents served as a stark reminder of the considerable decline in Mendy’s standing at Stamford Bridge, highlighting the prospect of his imminent departure at the end of the season.

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