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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will have to be without first choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for some weeks in what's a big blow to the Blues boss. This is because Mendy will be away on international duty with his country Senegal between January and February 2022. The Chelsea shot stopper will miss several games within this period after he helped the Teranga Lions to qualify for the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Senegal have joined both holders Algeria and hosts Cameroon in securing a spot at the AFCON tournament. The tournament was initially billed for next year before the Confederation of African Football (CAF) made the decision to push the tournament back until the opening weeks of 2022.

Edouard Mendy and Senegal have the only perfect record in the ongoing AFCON qualifiers after four wins from four games in Group I. The Teranga Lions confirmed their place in Cameroon on Sunday with a slim 1-0 win over hosts Guinea Bissau in one of the first games on Matchday 4. It was their second win over Guinea Bissau in the space offour days. They had earlier beaten their opponents 2-0 at home on Matchday 3.
Mendy has been revelation for Lampard and Chelsea since his £24m transfer from Rennes in the French topflight. He has kept six clean sheets in his first eight games for the Blues in all competitions, conceding just two goals. The goalkeeping position was the subject of much debate at Chelsea last season but that's no longer the situation with the assured Mendy in the Blues goal.
KepaArrizabalaga and Willy Caballero flattered to deceive when given opportunities in the Chelsea goal last season plus the early parts of this season. Frank Lampard might need to turn to those two options when Mendy leaves for the AFCON tournament in the middle of next season.