Chelsea’s Spanish international keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has spoken of his ambition to retain his number-one jersey at Stamford Bridge despite the arrival of Edouard Mendy from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes. Kepa, who has made a string of high-profile errors between the sticks during his 71 first-team appearances for Chelsea – many of which have come since the appointment of Frank Lampard as boss – has revealed he is up for the challenge of “turning [his] situation around” in West London.
Kepa arrived at Stamford Bridge to tremendous fanfare, given his £71 million price tag, which remains a world-record for a goalkeeper. The 26-year-old has failed to gain the confidence of Lampard during the last 18 months, having been dropped on several occasions last season in favour of experienced deputy Willy Caballero. Although Kepa began the 2020/21 EPL campaign between the sticks for Chelsea’s games fixtures with Brighton and Liverpool, the defeat against the Reds forced Lampard to dip into the transfer market to snare Senegalese stopper Mendy from French side Rennes.
Kepa still “confident” of being a success at Chelsea
In an interview at the start of the international break, Kepa insisted that he was “confident” in his ability and that he would continue to “do [his] best when [he plays]”. The Spaniard admits there will always be “ups and downs” in “the life of a footballer”, but he said that “now is the moment” to trust in his own abilities more than ever given the arrival of Edouard Mendy.
Kepa joined up with the Spanish senior team after Chelsea’s comprehensive victory over Crystal Palace last weekend. The 4-0 win was achieved with Kepa sat on the bench as Mendy made his first start in Chelsea colours. Lampard has been quick to insist that Kepa has a future at the club, believing the media and supporter criticism of the Spaniard to be “unfair”. Chelsea’s free-flowing second-half display against Palace demonstrated the team’s…