Edouard Mendy of Chelsea applauds the fans after the draw during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on May 13, 2023 in London, England.

Edouard Mendy of Chelsea applauds the fans after the draw during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on May 13, 2023 in London, England.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images.

Edouard Mendy Departs Chelsea for Saudi Pro League's Al-Ahli, Completing High-Profile Move

The Chelsea goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, will transfer from the West London team he's called home for three years to the Saudi Pro League's Al-Ahli.

Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy bid farewell to Chelsea after three successful years, as he joins Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli in a notable transfer. Chelsea officially confirmed the sale as part of their squad restructuring this summer, with reports suggesting a deal worth up to £17 million ($21.5m). Mendy has inked a contract extension until 2026 with his new club, having secured a Champions League winner's medal with the Blues in 2021.

At 31 years old, Mendy follows in the footsteps of former Chelsea teammates Kalidou Koulibaly and N'Golo Kante, who recently made similar moves to Saudi Arabia during this transfer window. With an impressive record of 49 clean sheets in 105 games, Mendy's contributions played a crucial role in Chelsea's Champions League triumph during the 2020-21 season. Notably, he was honoured as UEFA's goalkeeper of the season and also received the Best FIFA Men's Keeper award in 2021. Furthermore, Mendy's heroics in the penalty shootout of the Africa Cup of Nations secured victory for Senegal over Egypt.

In a statement on Chelsea's website, the Premier League club acknowledged Mendy's departure and praised his journey. "Having started his career in the lower tiers of French football - and even spending several months without a club - Mendy rose to the pinnacle of European football with Chelsea," the club stated. "A hugely likeable character on and off the pitch, he will always have a place in our history for his significant contributions to our 2021 Champions League triumph. For that, and for everything else, we are grateful. Good luck, Edou!"

Although Mendy enjoyed a strong start to his Chelsea career after his arrival from Stade Rennais in 2020, his form suffered last season, leading to surgery in January due to a fractured finger. As a result, he relinquished his position as the club's primary goalkeeper to teammate Kepa Arrizabalaga. Now, Mendy joins the ranks of Kalidou Koulibaly and N'Golo Kante in making the transition to Saudi Arabia.

Expressing his sentiments in a heartfelt Instagram post, Mendy said, "As I prepare to begin a new chapter in my career, it's hard to say goodbye. It has been an incredible three years wearing the Chelsea jersey, during which we achieved great success, including winning the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. A special thanks goes to all my teammates for the unforgettable journey we shared together. I also want to extend my deep gratitude to all the fans for their unbelievable support throughout my time at Chelsea. Although it's time for me to turn a new page, I sincerely wish the club continued success with the new owners and numerous titles in the years to come."

Al-Ahli, the recipient of Mendy's talents, emerged as the winners of the Saudi First Division League last season, earning promotion to the Saudi Pro League for the upcoming 2023-24 season. Al-Ahli, along with Al Hilal, Al Ittihad, and Al Nassr, is now under the ownership of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), led by Newcastle United's owners, as part of the country's "Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project.