Edouard Mendy is keeping in EPL on behalf of African goalkeepers

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Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy said he is playing in the Premier League with the understanding that African goalkeepers hardly have the opportunity to play for a top club in the League.

Edouard Mendy joined Chelsea this summer from Rennes for a transfer fee worth about £22 million. The 28-year-old Senegal international is regarded as the direct replacement for 25-year-old Spain international Kepa Arrizabalaga who is fond of making avoidable mistakes while in between the sticks for Chelsea.

Since Edouard Mendy joined Chelsea, he has played three competitive matches and has kept two clean sheets that have established him as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

The Senegalese goalkeeper said on Thursday that there is pressure on him as an African goalkeeper at a club like Chelsea because African goalkeepers are hardly given enough room to succeed in the Premier League. He however noted that he works very hard every day to change people’s mentalities about African goalkeepers.

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“When you look at other leagues, there are more playing around Europe; in France, there are four or five at least”, Edouard Mendy said. “Perhaps it’s something that can be explained in different ways.

“There are lots of African players in the Premier League and the Premier League is the best league in the world, so that’s a positive thing. But there are only a few African goalkeepers.

“Do I feel a particular pressure about that? Not really. It’s a source of pride for me to be an African goalkeeper in the Premier League. It’s up to me to show, as an African goalkeeper, that I can really perform at this level and perhaps change people’s mentalities of these things.

“I just need to make sure that I keep working hard and doing my best in matches so that other goalkeepers can follow me into this league.”

Mendy is expected to mount the goalpost for Chelsea against Manchester United on Sunday at 17:30. It will be the biggest test of the Senegalese so far.

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Apart from Edouard Mendy, other African goalkeepers in the Premier League

Edouard Mendy is keeping in EPL on behalf of African goalkeepers
Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy is just one of the 5 prominent African goalkeepers that have played a prominent role in a Premier League club. Though he still has about 5 years on his contract with Chelsea to prove himself, he has shown brilliance so far in the league.

Historically, one of the most unfortunate African goalkeepers in the league was Carl Ikeme who spent most of his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers but didn’t have the opportunity to establish himself further as a Premier League goalkeeper. He was diagnosed with acute leukemia before the Fifa 2018 World Cup which cut short his goalkeeping career. The Nigerian goalkeeper who will never have the opportunity to play again only managed to make one Premier League appearance for Wolves in the 2011-2012 season.

Ghanaian Richard Kingson had a fairer goalkeeping career in the Premier League as he has had stints with several clubs in England including Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, and Blackpool.

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Also, South African Andre Arendse found his way to the Premier League through Fulham. After a couple of good moments with them, he moved to the lower side of English football to play for Oxford United.

The most successful African goalkeeper to ever play in the Premier League was Bruce Grobbelaar. The Zimbabwean helped Liverpool to win the European Cup which is now known as UEFA Champions League in 1984. He spent a couple of seasons with Liverpool in the Premier League before his illustrious goalkeeping career nosedived at Southampton.

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