New Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will not be making his debut away at West Brom on Saturday, Frank Lampard has confirmed.
Mendy, 28, joined the Blues in a £22million switch from Rennes on Thursday after weeks of speculation.
Lampard has added another goalkeeper to his ranks amid concerns over Kepa Arrizabalaga, whose form has proved far too shaky over the past year.
Arrizabalaga made costly mistakes in Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixtures against Brighton and Liverpool this month, meaning Mendy’s arrival could push him out of the side.
But Lampard has revealed the latter is not ready to make his debut in Saturday’s clash with the Baggies.
“[For Mendy] to start tomorrow is not going to happen,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“He has had a long week where he hasn’t really trained, flew in yesterday and it just feels too tight a turnaround to put him in contention to start the game.”
Mendy may not have to wait too much longer for his Chelsea debut, nonetheless.
The west London club are set to take on capital rivals Tottenham in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, which could be the perfect game for him to make his Blues bow.
Arrizabalaga will be sweating over his position as No.1 goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge, having seen his form plummet over the last 12 months.
And Lampard insisted on Friday that he will hold crunch talks with the Spaniard in the next 24 hours.
“I haven’t spoken to Kepa since the announcement came. We trained and I didn’t see him,” he said.
“But I will have a conversation with him and Willy Caballero over the next 24 hours. I have a very open line of communication with them.
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“As goalkeepers, they have their own small union at the training ground because of the nature of the way they work together, so it needs to be a very positive feeling between the goalkeepers – and I’m sure there will be.
“There’s good competition there now, we know that, and that’s how we move forward.”
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