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Kepa will need to respond positively to Mendy's arrival at Blues, says Lampard

Carabao Cup


Edouard Mendy

Edouard Mendy

AFP via Getty Images

Edouard Mendy

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard confirmed the arrival of new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy on the eve of his side's Carabao Cup third round clash with Barnsley.

The Senegalese stopper completed his medical yesterday in a £20m move from Rennes.

Mendy's arrival will provide competition for Spain goalkeeper Kepa, who has struggled for form and confidence.

The 6ft 6in keeper's arrival takes the Blues' summer spending on the verge of topping £220m and two of those new faces - Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva - are in the squad to face the Tykes tonight.

"Mendy's having a medical as we speak, so, subject to that being okay, later on he'll become our player at that point," Lampard said yesterday.

"With Mendy coming in, it's more competition so every reaction will have to be positive around that from Kepa."

Looking ahead to the visit of the Championship side, Lampard warned his players not to be complacent.

"We're in the position that this game for me is of course about getting through to the next round, it always would be, but I have huge eyes on the fitness of the team because we're not fit now, which means our pressing game and the speed of our game, it will be very difficult to attain the levels that we want," he admitted.

"So I'll use this game primarily for the first-team squad to get there. With respect to Barnsley and respect for the competition, it's a huge night for us for the fitness of our team.

"We also made some new signings, we also had double figures of quarantines at the start of pre-season, so we're clearly in pre-season mode and that's why we mustn't get too judgmental. I'm not being too judgmental of the squad at this point because we are short on fitness for individuals in the team.

"On top of that I want to work on how we play, what we do, what we're about. We showed fantastic stuff for big periods last year and we want to move that step further. So every moment to work now is a moment to improve, that means on the training pitch and that means against Barnsley.

"I've been involved in many games of this type in my career, playing and managing now, and understand the potential difficulties of them. We have to have absolute respect for the opponent.

"I know Barnsley now from watching them, how they play, their coach, the system that they play. I'm sure that most teams that come to Stamford Bridge in a competition like this from the Championship, individuals will want to show and collectively they'll want to show they can compete with us."

Belfast Telegraph