Edouard Mendy has only been at Chelsea for a little over a year, and already he’s broken into the top 20 for most clean sheets as a Blue. Here’s everything you need to know about some of the keepers who are ahead of him on that list.
If this was based purely on clean-sheet percentage, there’s no doubt Mendy would be top of the list. His 31 clean sheets have come from only 55 appearances, which even the bang-average mathematicians reading this should be able to work out is well above 50 per cent.
Mendy will have the chance to make that 32 clean sheets with the Blues when we host Norwich City at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League today, and there's still time to make your score prediction for that game in Play Predictor exclusively on The 5th Stand app.
Only one man has needed fewer matches than Mendy to get to 30 clean sheets (we’ll come to him later) and that same keeper is also one of only four to reach 20 Premier League clean sheets quicker than our Edou, who recently missed out on a place on the Ballon d’Or shortlist.
Those who vote for such awards might not appreciate goalkeepers, but we certainly do. Here’s a celebration of the post-war keepers who have kept 50 or more clean sheets for the club, with Kepa and Edou both well on their way to reaching that milestone.
Dmitri Kharine – 51
The spring-heeled Russian became a bit of a fans’ favourite during seven years in west London at the start of the Premier League era – and not just for the tracksuit bottoms he regularly wore, come rain or shine.
He joined the Blues following spells with three of Moscow's finest and after impressing at Euro 1992, to compete for the gloves with Dave Beasant and Kevin Hitchcock.
The highlight of his spell in England was a trip to Wembley in 1994 for the FA Cup final, although he conceded four times in a defeat to Manchester United. He kept 51 clean sheets in 146 games for the club.
Eddie Niedzwiecki – 55
Most Blues fans who saw him guard Chelsea’s net would say it was a travesty that steady Eddie was capped only twice by Wales – although he did have the great Neville Southall to compete with. Still, Wales’ loss was our gain, as the bargain buy from Wrexham helped usher in a new era at the Bridge after his arrival in 1983.
He didn’t miss a match and let in less than a goal a game as we won the Division Two title in his first season, and he was right at home in the top flight.
Had it not been for the serious knee injury he suffered in 1986, the same year in which he won the club’s Player of the Year award, his tally of 55 clean sheets and 175 appearances would both have been far greater.
Thibaut Courtois – 58
Courtois beat Chelsea in a Champions League semi-final in 2014 – when he was on loan at Atletico Madrid from the Blues! He came back to the Bridge to take the gloves from Petr Cech and followed up the La Liga title he won with Atleti by playing a starring role in our Premier League triumph in his first season between the sticks.
He was at it again two years later, this time also claiming the Golden Glove award for most clean sheets. In all, he kept 58 clean sheets in 154 games, before leaving us to return to Madrid, this time with Real.
Ed de Goey – 73
The big Dutchman – our joint-tallest player of all time, at 6ft 6in – set a club record for most appearances and clean sheets in a season, when he was the man between the sticks during our maiden Champions League voyage in 1999/00.
He kept clean sheets in cup final wins in 1998 (League Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup) and 2000 (FA Cup) among the 73 he finished with from 179 games at Chelsea. The less said about the ‘tache, however, the better!
Carlo Cudicini – 101
Let’s be honest – none of us had a clue who Cudicini was when he joined us in the summer of 1999, although he was well known in Italy as the son of one of Milan’s greatest goalkeepers. Well, it turned out that ability ran in the family, as Carlo wasn’t too bad himself!
He signed on a season-long loan from Castel Di Sangro, a transfer which was later made permanent for a bargain £160,000, and he became both Chelsea’s number one and, in the eyes of many, the best in the Premier League. He made 216 appearances and kept 101 clean sheets, which is a phenomenal record.
Peter Bonetti – 208
With his distinctive green shirt and gloves, Peter Bonetti guarded Chelsea's net for the best part of two decades, making up for his lack of height with the outstanding agility and reflexes that earned him one of football's most iconic nicknames - the Cat.
He was the last line of defence in all our trophy successes in the Sixties and Seventies, as well as being the club's first-ever World Cup winner.
Across 729 appearances for our first team he also secured another record which lasted until the modern era, when his tally of 208 clean sheets for Chelsea was finally surpassed by the next man on this list…
Petr Cech – 228
You all knew what was coming. The man known as Big Pete was not only the best to do it for Chelsea, he was also one of the leading keepers in world football for more than a decade.
He leads the way for Blues clean sheets having kept a staggering 228, which would be enough alone to earn him legend status. However, it’s not just about the statistics when it comes to Cech.
Think about his heroics in the 2012 Champions League final, when he saved three penalties, or his remarkable stop to deny Andy Carroll in the FA Cup final a fortnight earlier. What a keeper!