Former Chelsea goalkeeper chief Christophe Lollichon has revealed how he worked with technical director Petr Cech to lead the Blues’ pursuit of Edouard Mendy in 2020.
Then-manager Frank Lampard was keen to sign a new goalkeeper to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga, who endured a nightmarish 2019/20 season, and they surprised many when they plucked Mendy from the relative obscurity of Rennes, Cech’s former side.
Lollichon, who confirmed his departure from Chelsea earlier this week, worked closely with Cech during the latter’s playing days and spent time as both a loan coach and a recruitment advisor at Stamford Bridge, and he spoke to Foot Mercato about how the signing of Mendy came about.
“Edouard Mendy is the icing on the cake,” he said. “It required very discreet work.
“I hadn’t spoken to anyone about it but I had been following him since his first matches in Ligue 2 in Reims [in 2016]. I only spoke about it to Petr Cech, then at Arsenal. I asked him to watch Mendy and tell me what he thought. He said: ‘He’s not bad!’.
“Then at some point at Chelsea, there was a need for a new goalkeeper but there wasn’t many on the market, or those available were too expensive. I said to Petr: ‘Do you remember Edouard? I’m still following him’. He answered: ‘Okay, is he good enough?’. I told him that he’s now the technical director, he needed to watch him.
“In the end, he told me that we had to sign him. That’s what we did. The success is magnificent. We can always make mistakes, but Edouard had a story that made us think his ability to adapt was going to be interesting.”
Since joining Chelsea, Mendy has emerged as one of the game’s top goalkeepers, being named the 2020/21 Champions League stopper of the season as well as winning FIFA’s The Best award for his position in 2021.