Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has explained Petr Cech’s role in persuading him to seal a transfer to Stamford Bridge last summer.
The Senegal international shone in his time with previous club Rennes, but was also far from the biggest name before his big move to Chelsea.
Still, Mendy ended up being a great signing for Chelsea, instantly becoming the club’s number one and playing a key role in their surprise success in the Champions League.
Chelsea had a superb defensive record in Europe last term, keeping out some big names as they overcame Real Madrid in the semi-finals and Manchester City in the final of the competition.
Mendy certainly proved to be an important signing for the Blues, but he admits now that he was uncertain how strong their interest was at first.
He then recognised how much Chelsea really wanted him, however, when Cech spoke to him and made it clear he was the only ‘keeper the club wanted to sign.
“I often spoke to [my agent] who told me about Chelsea’s interest. I tried not to think about it because Chelsea are a pretty big deal and I’d come a really long way, but when the phone conversations started escalating, I realised that there was real interest from Chelsea and that I had to go for it,” Mendy told UEFA.
“I told myself that Chelsea might sign another goalkeeper, but Petr called me. He said: ‘Listen, only one goalkeeper is going to sign for the club, and it will be you. I only want you.’
“When a keeper like Petr, with the career he had and being the Chelsea legend he is, tells you that, it calms you down a bit.”
Mendy was initially brought in under Frank Lampard, but has praised the impact made by Thomas Tuchel, who replaced the club legend back in January.
“He is charismatic, he has leadership skills. He is someone who engages people, so having a coach like that is definitely very motivating,” Mendy said of the German tactician.
“He really introduced the idea of us being a team in which everyone was important. That was demonstrated over the six months since his appointment. Almost all the players in the squad played.
“Then, he brought his own philosophy, which he has instilled. I think that suited the group straight away. What he wanted to do was eminently possible with this squad, so we saw immediate results.”