Legendary Premier League goalkeeper Brad Friedel has given his assessment of the league’s current crop of shot-stoppers – and the American makes a surprise selection
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is the best shot-stopper in the Premier League, according to Brad Friedel.
Meanwhile, David de Gea has started the season brilliantly despite Manchester United ’s struggles recently.
Friedel is certainly a good judge of a goalkeeper, having kept 132 clean sheets in 450 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham.
And while the American says he would pick Ederson if he were a manager, due to the Man City keeper’s ease with the ball at his feet, he thinks Mendy excels at the most basic attribute for goalkeepers.
“The best shot-stopper of the four,” Friedel told The Sun .
“He is also the most underrated right now, but then again he is still the most unknown at the start of his second season in England.”
He added: “Mendy also looks the most unflappable. There are not so many movements in his play, but it is always quick and explosive.
“He is sure-handed, commands his box and really fits in with Tuchel’s philosophy.
“When teams are taking shots or lining up free-kicks against Mendy, I never think that he is going to make a mistake.”
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Friedel’s comments are well-timed, given Mendy’s man-of-the-match performance for Chelsea in their 1-0 win over Brentford on Saturday evening.
The Blues took the lead through Ben Chilwell’s well-controlled strike before half-time, but were far from comfortable and had Mendy to thank for their clean sheet.
Brentford bombarded the Blues’ penalty area and came close to scoring on several occasions, only to find Mendy in fine form.
The Senegal international made six saves in total – his joint most in a Premier League game – as he racked up his 20th clean sheet in the competition.
The 29-year-old has reached that landmark in just 38 Premier League appearances.
His form for Chelsea is underlined by the fact that only Petr Cech, Pepe Reina and Alisson have got to 20 clean sheets faster in the league’s history.
Chilwell was quick to pay tribute to his goalkeeper in his post-match interview.
“I’m happy to score a goal but I think we have got to thank Edou,” Chilwell told Sky Sports.
“I don’t know how many saves he made but there were a lot of very important saves and he does it every week for us.
“He bails us out, whether it’s once or twice, or in this game on several occasions. He’s a world-class goalkeeper and is the one we’ve got to thank.
“It just gives you confidence when you know you’ve got someone like that behind you that comes to collect the ball from crosses, is a brilliant shot-stopper and good with his feet.”