Edouard Mendy has told Frank Lampard he is ready to face West Brom this weekend, as the Chelsea manager weighs up whether to throw the goalkeeper straight in for his debut.
Mendy is available for selection at the Hawthorns after completing his £22million move from Rennes on Thursday.
The 28-year-old has avoided the need to quarantine after completing a medical in Germany, rather than France, and he trained with the Chelsea squad for the first time yesterday.
Lampard was due to confirm on whether Mendy will be involved against West Brom but the Senegal international insists he is ready despite not playing for a month.
Mendy has been signed to compete with Kepa Arrizabalaga for the No1 spot at Stamford Bridge.
It has been reported that Arrizabalaga has been doing extra training in a bid to prove his worth to Lampard, but the Spaniard needs to be taken out of the firing line after he made another awful error against Liverpool last weekend.
Mendy said: “Yes, I’m fit. Even though I have not played a match for a while I have been training as usual with Rennes. I have also played an in-house match in training recently, so I am feeling good.”
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who became the club’s technical and performance adviser after retiring last summer, had an influential role in identifying Mendy and advising Lampard to sign him.
Mendy, who has signed a five-year contract, wants to follow in the footsteps of Chelsea’s former African greats, including Didier Drogba, and win things at Stamford Bridge.
“Most of the biggest African talent has played for this team,” said Mendy. “Drogba, [Michael] Essien, [Samuel] Eto’o, [John Obi] Mikel. When you see that, you want to continue it. Regarding the goalkeeper [position], I am the first, so it really makes me very proud, and it is also a big responsibility.
“I want to adapt to this league, continue my progression that has been constant for a number of years, and to win. At a club like Chelsea, you have to win.”
Mendy has enjoyed a remarkable rise since playing in the third tier of French football six years ago and excelled after joining Rennes from Reims last summer as he helped them qualify for the Champions League.
“I have worked very hard, I haven’t taken anything for granted,” he said. “It’s been a constant progression and now I am ready to continue on that upward path.”
A loan move looks the most likely option for the Spaniard, who cost £71.6m — a world-record fee for a goalkeeper — two years ago, and you sense he needs to leave to rebuild his confidence.