Edouard Mendy exclusive first interview: Keeper on what a privilege it is to join Chelsea, buying a Blues shirt when he was 12, and his ‘incredible’ career path

It has been well documented that Mendy has not always had it easy, having spent a period out of the game and looking for work earlier in his career. Now, however, having starred at Reims and then Rennes in France, the 28-year-old has joined the Blues and is determined to take the next step on his unusual but exciting path to the top of the game.

We also spoke about his expectations of Premier League football and how he’s feeling fit and fresh, but first, the 6ft 6in Senegalese gave us his immediate reaction to joining the Blues…

‘I’m very proud,’ said Mendy. ‘When a club like Chelsea is interested in you, it means you’ve done great work every weekend. Everyone knows Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and everyone would like to play for this team, but not everyone can. To have a chance to wear this shirt and defend the club’s colours, it’s a privilege.’

And we understand you’re a Chelsea fan!

‘Yes! I’ve been a Chelsea supporter since I was little. I adore this club. When I was 12 I had the chance with a past club I played for to go to Brighton, and we watched a match. I thought English football was amazing. We went into a shop and I saw the Chelsea shirt, this was about 2003 when Ranieri was the manager, and I bought this shirt. So I’ve always liked this club.’