Kepa Arrizabalaga says he’s ‘never even THOUGHT about leaving Chelsea’ as the Blues face being stuck with £72m flop… as keeper insists he had no problem with Frank Lampard dropping him amid poor run of form
- Kepa Arrizabalaga had dropped out of the team under Frank Lampard at Chelsea
- Thomas Tuchel gave Kepa a rare start during their 2-0 victory over Newcastle
- The new Chelsea boss insists Edouard Mendy is still their number-one choice
- Kepa though is determined to play an important part under Tuchel at Chelsea
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga claims he’s ‘no longer afraid’ as he looks to play a bigger part under new manager Thomas Tuchel.
The Spaniard who joined in 2018 for a world record £72m fee for a goalkeeper, had fallen out-of-favour under former manager Frank Lampard.
After making numerous mistakes, Chelsea made the move to sign Edouard Mendy from Rennes for £22m in the summer.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was brought back into the starting line-up for the victory over Newcastle
Having fallen out-of-favour, Kepa is keen to fight for his place under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea
Kepa has admitted that his performances were up to scratch but that he never had an issue with Lampard, who was axed from the job last month.
He said in an interview with Spanish outlet COPE: ‘Three months ago things were difficult.
‘It has been a complicated year for a number of reasons. But I have never thought about leaving Chelsea.
‘I did not have any problems with Lampard. It’s true that I did not give the best version of myself or play as I would have wanted. But we never had any issue.
‘I hope to turn things around and I rely on my family, on trustworthy people, more than anything.’
He went on to add: ‘I feel good after my period of inactivity. I hope to play more and I am no longer afraid and want to play an important part for Chelsea.’
Kepa lost his place in the starting line-up under former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard
His form last season led to him being dropped for a number of games for the far more experienced Willy Caballero.
Kepa regained his place in the team, only until Chelsea made the decision to sign Mendy during the summer transfer window.
His last appearance in the Premier League under Lampard came during a 3-3 draw with Southampton.
With his Chelsea career looking on the ropes, Tuchel made the shock decision to start Kepa over Mendy for their recent 2-0 victory over Newcastle.
The Spaniard was happy to keep a clean sheet, after also featuring in Chelsea’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Barnsley in the prior match.
After the game against Newcastle, Tuchel said: ‘Edouard is the No 1 and that is clear. This was clear before the game and it stays like this.
‘I am very happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet in a row, to let him build up his rhythm and confidence. Edou will be in goal from now on because he recovered physically and mentally.’
Kepa will have the tough task of ousting Edouard Mendy as the club’s number one choice