Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy says he is not planning any special preparations to deal with Erling Haaland next season, revealing he trains for every opponent the same — and even name-dropping Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke when making the point.
Haaland, 21, relocated to the Etihad earlier this summer for £51.2m following two goal-laden years for Borussia Dortmund, where he netted 86 in 89 games across all competitions.
Haaland’s arrival marked the start of a summer of major upheaval for Pep Guardiola’s side, who have also brought in Kalvin Phillips from Leeds, added January recruit Julian Alvarez to their squad following his loan spell at River Plate — and parted with several former stars, not least Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.
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It’s set to be a formidable frontline in the North West next campaign as City look to defend their Premier League crown and once again have a crack at winning a first-ever Champions League, most recently crashing out of the semi-finals to eventual winners Real Madrid.
Despite Guardiola’s new-look attack, Chelsea shot-stopper Mendy has revealed it will be business as usual as far as his pre-match preparations are concerned, saying no single opponent gets special treatment when he’s building up to face them.
“I study. I study a lot. It’s not about one striker or one team – we just have to focus on every striker, every team we play to win. It’s not because it’s Haaland,” he stated.
“I look at Haaland like I look at, say, Benteke at Palace – it’s not that different between Crystal Palace and City. You have to be focused because he is a striker and he can score. We have our methods and I don’t need to say what they are. But I study a lot. A lot.”
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Mendy also gave his two cents on international team-mate Sadio Mane’s departure from the Premier League, saying the now Bayern Munich forward will be a major loss to the division.
He said: “We’ve lost someone great and I hope for him he will enjoy the Bundesliga.
“He’s also a big loss because of his quality, the impact he makes and also because, for the young players, he’s an example. When you lose someone like this it can have a huge impact.
“I think it is a big loss for the Premier League in terms of quality and in terms of the person.”