‘To be at a club where such great goalkeepers have played is fantastic and very important to me. I am aware of the expectations that surround the goalkeeper position at Chelsea, but I am not going to put any pressure on myself and compare myself to legends here. I have only just arrived so my aim is to carry on progressing and when the coach asks me, to make sure I am there for the team and helping with their success.’
It was six years ago that the current Senegal international, who had begun his professional career at Cherbourg, found himself without a club.
‘If someone had said to me then I would end up at Chelsea, I would not have bothered to look at or listen to them,’ he acknowledged.
‘It was really very difficult because on one hand you have the anger of finding yourself without a club because of the agent I was with, but also the disappointment of not being able to play at the weekend, not being able to do what I love.
‘That is really hard, a year is a very long time for a footballer. Fortunately I could always count on my family and they helped me through that and to bounce back and get to where I am today.
‘When I got the message from my agent at the time, I immediately went back to the club where I trained when I was young, and I was training with the reserves there every morning. In the afternoon I’d go to the gym or with my brother to the pitch to practise shot-stopping.