Chelsea have left their No.16 shirt vacant ahead of the new Premier League season – and Blues fans are convinced Edouard Mendy will be taking it.
The Blues have confirmed their full list of squad numbers as they gear up for their opening fixture away at Brighton on Monday night, with Christian Pulisic taking the No.10 shirt and new signing Kai Havertz receiving his preferred No.29.
Thiago Silva will be wearing the No.6 jersey at Stamford Bridge, Timo Werner has been handed No.11, Hakim Ziyech will sport No.22 and Ben Chilwell has taken No.21.
However, none of the club’s new recruits have been awarded No.16 – which is the only number under 20 to have been left vacant.
That could be the biggest hint yet that Mendy is on his way to Stamford Bridge, given the Senegal goalkeeper wears that number for Rennes.
Frank Lampard is determined to bring him to Chelsea this summer amid doubts over current No.1 Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Rennes president Nicolas Holveck recently confirmed they are in discussions with the Blues.
The Chelsea faithful therefore believe Mendy will be wearing No.16 for them in the coming season, taking to Twitter to point out the transfer hint.
One wrote: “Who noticed no Number 16 #Mendy”.
“Notice that the number 16 shirt is not taken. Guess what is Edouard Mendy's shirt number at Stade Rennais is,” posted another.
A third commented: “Mendy’s No.16 reserved for him”.
“Edouard Mendy probably taking #16 when he arrives,” concluded another.
While one Chelsea fan said with a lot of confidence: “Mendy will take 16.”
According to Matt Law of The Telegraph, Kepa is prepared to stay and fight for his place in goal for the Blues despite Mendy’s impending arrival.
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The Spaniard, who recorded the second-lowest save percentage in the Premier League last season, is determined to knuckle down and regain Lampard’s trust.
A number of costly mistakes saw Kepa lose his place in goal at the end of last season, with Lampard instead fielding backup shot-stopper Willy Caballero on a number of occasions.
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