Chelsea will be without UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year Édouard Mendy for most of January and perhaps even into early February after his participation in this season’s Africa Cup of Nations was confirmed today with the Senegal squad announcement for the tournament.
Mendy joins one of the strongest-looking teams and surely one of the favorites for the continental title, which includes Liverpool’s Sadio Mané, PSG’s Gana Gueye, and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly as well. The tournament starts January 9, so hopefully Mendy can still be in goal for our game against Liverpool on January 2. (Liverpool already received dispensation from Egypt to allow Mo Salah to participate in that game, for example.)
In Mendy’s absence, which could last to the final on February 6, Cup King Kepa will be expected to keep up his good form from this year, and we may even see third goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli make his debut in the FA Cup third round against Chesterfield and perhaps the (two-legged) Carabao Cup semifinal against Spurs as well!