African All Stars

Senegal and Chelsea’s Mendy is a top guy with strong character – Tuchel

10:19 AM GMT 16/03/2022
Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
The Blues manager sings the praises of the Lion of Teranga ahead of their fixture at Stade Pierre Mauroy

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has labelled goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as a strong character ahead of the team’s visit to face LOSC Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Blues will visit Stade Pierre Mauroy looking to complete the job they started at Stamford Bridge and progress into the quarter-finals. Chelsea are carrying a 2-0 advantage heading into the fixture having scored through Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic in the first meeting staged last month.

Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy, who features for the Senegal national team, will make a return to France to face Lille. Before joining Chelsea, the 30-year-old Mendy was turning out for Rennes.

“Edou is a top guy with a strong character. He is also very humble,” Tuchel told reporters when asked about ex-Rennes star Mendy as quoted by Fan Nation.

“I think everyone at Chelsea, including the supporters, wish this success for him because he gives everything for the team. He is very calm and he transmits that calmness to our defenders.

“He always thinks about the team. He is exceptional and I am very happy to have him in my squad. I am pleased to coach him and it's great to have him here every day. He is fantastic.”

On the mood in the Chelsea squad, Tuchel said: “Good mood. We couldn’t have two more different games than we had, in Norwich City and against Newcastle United in terms of playing style and obstacles to overcome. We relied on skillful play and controlled the game versus Norwich and managed to win the game.

“Against Newcastle it was a question of mentality, resilience, a question of physicality, of focus and defending, being brave and staying committed. That makes any coach in the world very happy how we won this match, we won it late. The mood is good. I am convinced the team knows what it took to perform like this, produce results.

“This is what we are up to again tomorrow [Wednesday]. When I say we allow ourselves to focus on what we control, I mean it. This is what we do in the training ground. As I said, the focus is to take the responsibility for the people who take the responsibility that we are in a big club. There are hundreds of them. This is what we do at the moment.”

In his first season with Chelsea, Mendy won the Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup. He also helped Senegal to lift the Africa Cup of Nations title after defeating Egypt on penalties in the final held in Cameroon early this year.