Potter welcomes Mendy return

AFP , Tuesday 4 Oct 2022

Chelsea boss Graham Potter is in "no rush" to declare Edouard Mendy his number one goalkeeper despite the Senegal international's return from injury.

Edouard Mendy
Chelsea s French-born Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy attends a team training session at Chelsea s Cobham training facility in Stoke D Abernon, southwest of London on October 4, 2022, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League group E football match against AC Milan. AFP


Kepa Arrizabalaga has started the Blues' past three games, including the two Potter has taken charge of since replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel.

Mendy had been Tuchel's undoubted first choice, but the former Rennes stopper struggled in the early stages of the season.

"I'm in no rush to label anybody one or two," Potter said ahead of Chelsea's crucial Champions League clash at home to AC Milan on Wednesday.

"Firstly, I want to help Kepa enjoy his football and play at a really good level, which I think he did against Crystal Palace (a 2-1 win for Chelsea) and I want to help Eddy get fit and ready to play.

"Then we've got two goalkeepers and in an ideal world you want football to decide."

With just one point from their opening two group games, defeat against the Italian champions at Stamford Bridge could prove fatal to Chelsea's chances of progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League.

One of Milan's major threats could be lining up for Potter's men next season, with Chelsea linked with a move for Rafael Leao.

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Potter praised the Portuguese winger's impact, but refused to be drawn on speculation over his future and rumours that Chelsea are close to sealing a deal for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku.

"I've been really impressed with him whenever I have watched the games," Potter said on Leao. "He makes a difference for AC Milan, contributes to how they attack, how they score.

"He's a top player. In terms of what happens in the future, who knows. He's got the capability and is affecting games at the highest level."

N'Golo Kante is nearing a return after a hamstring injury but Potter confirmed he will not play a part against Milan.

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