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Chelsea: Edouard Mendy has proven that he is the best goalkeeper in Europe

Edouard Mendy, not for the first time, was unbeatable on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old solidified his place as the fit shot stopper in the Premier League with an outstanding display, called “world class” by Brentford manager Thomas Frank.

The Bees coach had just watched the Senegalese international make a succession of incredible saves, each one more impressive than the last, until he finished off his performance with an incredible reflex stop to overturn Christian Norgaard’s acrobatic effort over the crossbar to preserve the Chelsea 1-0 win.

Edouard Mendy was man of the match at Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday

Edouard Mendy was man of the match at Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday

The Chelsea closer was in good shape as he produced a display of command in goal.

The Chelsea closer was in good shape as he produced a display of command in goal.

The Chelsea closer was in good shape as he produced a display of command in goal.

His acrobatic stop from Christian Norgaard's aerial kick was quite magnificent.

His acrobatic stop from Christian Norgaard's aerial kick was quite magnificent.

His acrobatic stop from Christian Norgaard’s aerial kick was quite magnificent.

“He was very strong throughout the game,” commented his own boss, Thomas Tuchel.

It is not the first time this season, his heroism was key for the Blues. With his four clean sheets so far this Premier League season, only Manchester City’s Ederson can boast more.

More impressive still is the xG against Chelsea’s record with Mendy on the side. According to Goal, Tuchel’s team has conceded three less than it should, a better return than any other team in the top flight.

His numbers show that he is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League right now.

His numbers show that he is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League right now.

His numbers show that he is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League right now.

But the only goalkeeper to make this year's Ballon d'Or finalist list is Gianluigi Donnarumma.

But the only goalkeeper to make this year's Ballon d'Or finalist list is Gianluigi Donnarumma.

But the only goalkeeper to make this year’s Ballon d’Or finalist list is Gianluigi Donnarumma.

However, while the sky seems to be the limit in the Premier League, it appears that others are putting limitations on their abilities.

Much of the soccer world has raised an eyebrow at Mendy’s omission from the Ballon d’Or finalist list.

Despite becoming the first African goalkeeper to lift the Champions League, breaking an English club’s record for a clean sheet in the competition in the process, there was no place on the 30 list for him.

When asked on Saturday if he felt his first-choice goalkeeper should have been on the list, Tuchel replied: ‘Yes … but no. I am happy and it is more important that I act like that than on any list.

“ It shouldn’t, I hope it doesn’t bother him, because it doesn’t bother me too much and it seems like he’s not influenced by it, which is a good thing. ”

Mendy himself has been very diplomatic with his slight. “There will always be debates, whether it’s about me or someone else.”

“It depends on the freedom of the journalists’ votes (of the Ballon d’Or) and they must be respected.”

But there are still many fighting in his corner. One of the issues that hinders decision-making is the appearance of another goalkeeper on the list: Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Italian undoubtedly had a summer to remember, lifting the European Championship with Italy and was their hero twice as they claimed the trophy thanks to two penalty shootout victories.

A comparison throughout 2021 of Donnarumma and Mendy.  Statistics provided by SofaScore

A comparison throughout 2021 of Donnarumma and Mendy.  Statistics provided by SofaScore

A comparison throughout 2021 of Donnarumma and Mendy. Statistics provided by SofaScore

But comparing the two on the club’s merit throughout 2021 makes the decision to include the Azzurri’s number one a bit puzzling.

Mendy has a better save percentage, a better clean sheet ratio and has conceded far fewer goals per game for Chelsea. Despite this and helping his team win the most prestigious club trophy in Europe, it is still not enough to put him on the list.

The omission has been questioned by many of his teammates, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger, making his feelings known after the victory over Brentford on Twitter.

It is your compatriots who have raised one of the most pertinent points. While Liverpool’s Sadio Mane called the decision ‘unacceptable’, others were more unequivocal in their thoughts that race is still a factor.

His Senegal teammate Kalidou Koulibaly (top row, third from right) has questioned Mendy's omission

His Senegal teammate Kalidou Koulibaly (top row, third from right) has questioned Mendy's omission

His Senegal teammate Kalidou Koulibaly (top row, third from right) has questioned Mendy’s omission

“It’s a real shame Edou is not one of them (nominees),” said Kalidou Koulibaly during the recent international break. “He is the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League.

‘We must keep working and keep going. We have to do double (the work) of some people to be well judged.

‘Edou is a very positive person. We talk about it together. He will continue to fight to be part of it. For me, he has a place among these 30 players. ‘

Mendy will continue to do what he does best for Chelsea. If you do, you will need to get the recognition your game deserves.

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