Chelsea’s goalkeeping sensation, Eduard Mendy, has credited Nigerian legend, Vincent Enyeama for helping him stay on track when he doubted his career choice, Newspremises reports.
Mendy began his goalkeeping career in France and he almost quit the game before getting an opportunity with Marseille.
The 29-year-old who is the first choice goalkeeper of Senegal then established himself at Reims and Rennes in the Ligue 1 before signing with Chelsea in 2020.
However, when the chips were down, Mendy drew inspiration from Nigeria’s classy showstopper, Enyeama who was Lille’s first-choice goalkeeper for four straight years.
“You get to a point when you are not sure if you have made the right career choice.
“I was at that point, but, seeing a fellow African like Enyeama doing it regularly at the top level in Ligue 1 got me moving,” Mendy said during an interview according to OwnGoalNG.
In his first campaign at Roazhon Park, the 6ft 5in goalie kept 13 clean sheets and conceded just 31 goals in 33 games before the season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He helped Rennes qualify for the Champions League for the first time last season, with the French club finishing third in Ligue 1.
Mendy had European club competition experience under his belt already, having featured in four Europa League games in 2019/20.
Mendy has since won the heart of his manager at Chelsea, including sacked Frank Lampard, since his signing in September 2020, edging Kepa Arrizabalaga from the number one spot.
The Senegalese has made 29 appearances for the Blues, keeping 16 clean sheets after winning 16 Premier League matches and lost six games in total so far.
His penalty save against Sergio Aguero on April 8 was his first in the league as he helped the Blues to a 2-1 comeback win against the league leaders.
Mendy has been influential for Chelsea who are now fourth on the log after reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals.