Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has been back in training this week, although his star has significantly fallen little more than a year since being named Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper.
Mendy was named the top male goalkeeper on the planet for 2021 off the back of his role in Chelsea’s unexpected Champions League triumph, in addition to helping Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time ever.
But the 31-year-old lost his place at Chelsea to the resurgent Kepa Arrizabalaga earlier this season and, although he briefly won it back, hasn’t played at club level since the World Cup.
Mendy underwent finger surgery in early January and is only just now returning, returning to training with the squad on Tuesday.
A lot has changed at Chelsea this season. Mendy has hardly been available since Graham Potter was appointed in September and was indeed initially dropped by the new boss - 90min revealed in November that Mendy had been offered to Tottenham with his future at Stamford Bridge increasingly uncertain.
Mendy will have only two years left on his contract come the summer. His deal is due to expire in 2025 and the club’s new policy on deciding whether to retain players could force them into a decision over his future.
As 90min has reported this week, Chelsea’s ownership ideally want to avoid players entering the final two years of their contract. With a host of players due to be out of contract in 2024, the Blues could show the door to any who refuse to commit in a potential mass exodus.
Mateo Kovacic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount all have deals up in 2024, with 38-year-old Thiago Silva considered an exception to the new policy because of his age.