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Mendy needs Kepa competition at Chelsea, ex-Nigeria international Ariyo suggests

8:21 PM WAT 23/08/2022
The Owena Whale goalkeeper still considers the Senegalese among the best but thinks he has been too relaxed

Edouard Mendy needs competition from Kepa Arrizabalaga to rediscover his best form, according to Sunshine Stars’ David Ariyo, who suggests the Chelsea goalkeeper thinks he's "untouchable".

The Senegal international’s position as Blues’ No.1 has been largely unhampered since moving to Stamford Bridge from Rennes, but he now appears to be hanging onto the jersey by a thread after a string of high-profile errors.

He now finds himself under the microscope in the wake of a disastrous display in the Stamford Bridge giants’ 3-0 defeat to Leeds United on Sunday, during which he was guilty of gifting Brenden Aaronson a goal.

Many have called for Kepa to take over as the club's No.1 but the former Nigeria youth international thinks the Senegalese could benefit from the Spaniard's presence.

"I will not crucify Mendy for the goal he conceded against Leeds United, mistakes are part of the game but I feel he should have done better,” Ariyo told GOAL.

“He remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world even at that blunder, but he needs a quality competition in Kepa to get back to his best.

“Something tells me that Thomas Tuchel’s preference for him in Chelsea goal has made him so relaxed that he now feels untouchable

“Dropping him completely as Chelsea’s number 1 will damage his confidence level further and the best way to get him back to his best is for the Blues’ coaching crew to tell him his place is not guaranteed which I think will set him up.”

Following his move from France, he proved to be one of the bargain signings, keeping 13 clean sheets in 17 matches.

That inspiring form made veteran Nigerian coach Henry Abiodun state that he is capable of reaching the very highest level of the game.

“He has been one of the major differences. Even before Frank Lampard was shown the way out. He has been able to make an impressive impact since he came in,” Abiodun told GOAL.

“He is on his way to writing his name in gold in world football and also becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the world

“I don’t think in recent times we have seen any African player mounting the goal at that level and he is doing very well.

“So, Mendy is a pride to Africa as a continent. I think what the future holds for him is great and hopefully, he doesn’t suffer any injury.”