Chelsea have built an incredibly strong squad over the past two years, which is why the Blues are recognized by many as favorites for the title.
Romelu Lukaku in particular is considered to be the new signing who can bring the Premier League to Stamford Bridge and he showed that against Aston Villa and Zenit St. Petersburg over the course of the week.
The Belgian striker scored three goals in those two games but another major signing Edouard Mendy was at a high level.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper was signed for a reported £ 22million in the summer of 2020, which may be why he is under the radar as an integral part of Chelsea’s strength.
He has saved the most shots on goal in the Premier League so far this season at 16, which is quite surprising given Thomas Tuchel’s impressive defense.
It is difficult to really grasp a goalkeeper’s influence, but Expected Goals (xG) can be used to measure some form of understanding.
xG provides an insight into the probability of a shot on goal taking into account aspects such as the shooting position and tends to provide an accurate summary of whether a team has earned fewer or more goals as a result of their shots.
Post-Shot xG can be applied to goalkeepers as it specifically focuses on shots that hit the target and takes into account the quality and trajectory of the shot, thus relating to keeping the shot off.
Mendy is expected to concede around 90.7 goals in the Premier League and Ligue 1 based on the number of shots he’s had since 2018, but he has actually only delivered 84 (excluding own goals).
Essentially, that means he kept shots at an above-average level, surpassing them by about 6.7 goals. A saving above expectations generally indicates above-average performance, while a saving below expectations indicates the opposite.
Mendy’s numbers are significantly better than those of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who sat on the bench after the Senegalese international arrived last summer.
Over the same period, Kepa was expected to score 122.9 goals between the sticks, compared to his actual total of 132 goals conceded.
The Spaniard has been 9.1 goals below expectations since joining Chelsea, underscoring the difference between the two goalkeepers.
Based on her performances since 2018, Mendy could be considered an above average shot stopper while Kepa appears below average.
Chelsea’s title fight continues this weekend against Tottenham Hotspur, who will continue to be led by star striker Harry Kane.
Keeping him calm will be crucial if the Blues are looking to secure three points, and Mendy could be the player to make that possible.