Chelsea FC Team News: Edouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech


Chelsea are off until Oct 17 when they host Southampton FC, but due to some developments this international break, it’s already time to talk some team news.

First choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy suffered a muscular injury while on international duty, and has now withdrawn from his national team camp. His national federation announced yesterday that Mendy, 28, has since returned to Chelsea after injuring his thigh during a Senegal training session.

The severity of his injury is unknown at this time, and we may not know more until late next week, but it is certainly fair to say that he is a strong doubt for the Saints clash. If he can’t go, then manager Frank Lampard must decide between Willy Caballero or the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, the deeply demoted Kepa Arrizabalaga.

In case you missed it, and judging by the page views numbers, you did, Kepa feels confident that he’ll somehow turn his Chelsea career around and win back his place. He might get a chance sooner rather than later. Mendy has conceded only one goal in two starts with Chelsea (clean sheet in blowout league win over Crystal Palace, 1-1 Carabao Cup draw with Tottenham that Spurs won on penalties).

Elsewhere Hakim Ziyech has yet to play in a meaningful Chelsea match, and there is a chance we could finally see him on Oct 17. He was selected for his national side, Morocco, this international break, where he has been training; but with plenty of added strapping on his knee.

That knee was injured during his lone appearance in a Chelsea shirt, a preseason friendly draw against Brighton & Hove Albion. We could see him in action against the south coast club in eight days times, and if so, probably in a limited amount of minutes.

Christian Pulisic recovered from his hamstring injury and made his 20/21 season debut against Palace, coming on in the 84′. The American should see an increase in playing time when Premier League play resumes, but it’s still going to be awhile until we actually see both he and Ziyech on the pitch together for extended stretches of time.

Eventually, it will be very exciting to see when Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, as well as the rest of the beefed up Chelsea attack, are all match fit and coalescing together. Football.London has more on Ziyech and the path to his integration into the team.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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