Chelsea’s Mendy sends message to Senegal team-mates ahead of Congo & Eswatini tests

The Blues’ goalkeeper has wished the Lions of Teranga well in their qualification games against the Red Devils and King’s Shield

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has reached out to the Senegalese national team, wishing them well as they take on Congo and Eswatini in March’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The 29-year-old was missing for the Stamford Bridge giants in their 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Sheffield United on Sunday, with Kepa Arrizabalaga holding sway between the posts instead as Oliver Norwood’s own goal and Hakim Ziyech strike sent the Blues into the semi-final.

In a post on social media, the former Rennes star confirmed that he would be unavailable for the dead rubber games, having undergone a dental surgery on Monday.

“I will unfortunately not be able to attend the next meeting with my country,” Mendy wrote on Instagram.

“I had to perform a dental operation this morning [Monday] that couldn’t wait, in order to avoid this to disrupt the end of the season, which has important deadlines, both with my club and with my country.

“My heart goes out to my brothers for these last two qualification games.”

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had disclosed that the Senegal international would miss the international break as he needed to head to the dentist for a tooth operation.

“Mendy will stay because he has an operation on his tooth,” the German tactician told the media after his team silenced Paul Heckingbottom’s Blades.

“He needs to see the dentist because it needs to be done. It’s why we do it now [so he can be back after the international break].”

Although Aliou Cisse’s men are through to the 2022 Afcon billed to hold in Cameroon, they look to consolidate their place at the summit of Group I by defeating the Red Devils and the King’s Shield.

Mendy was lured away from Ligue 1 in a £22m ($31m) deal as the six-time English topflight kings sought to find greater stability between the sticks as costly errors had crept into Arrizabalaga’s game.

Appreciatively, he settled quickly in English football and kept clean sheets through his opening six games for Chelsea.

Tuchel would be expecting the Senegalese to be back to full fitness when his team take on West Bromwich Albion on April 3.

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