Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to start for Chelsea in their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Barnsley.
It will be the Spaniard’s third appearance in the competition this season, but first under new head coach Thomas Tuchel who replaced Frank Lampard less than 24 hours after the 3-1 win over Luton Town.
And the German tactician has wiped the slate clean for Kepa who hasn’t lived up to the £71m price-tag and is currently behind Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goalkeeping pecking order.
“It’s very important for me to say this: he doesn’t have to overachieve,” said Tuchel, as per Sky Sports. “I want him to play a normal match tomorrow. He does not have to show me or anybody else tomorrow he is ready to be Spain’s number one in the summer.
“He just has to show his quality. Not more or less. So we have to manage expectations because I don’t expect him to score and keep a clean sheet.
“I just want him to help us with his quality and for him to give a solid performance to help the team. He has big goals to achieve and big personal ambition. But this is normal; it’s why he’s here.
“No goalkeeper wants to sit on the bench, I understand that. And none of my guys want to travel tomorrow to sit on the bench.
“The situation for Kepa is the situation he finds right now. We didn’t make a change in the first games and Edou was strong in the moment.
“So the good thing for him is that we start new, it’s a new start for him. I don’t have a history with him and I hope there will be no difficulties, because I don’t see them coming.”
Kepa Arrizabalaga during a training session in Cobham (Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Ahead of the FA Cup tie at Oakwell, Kepa, as seen in the image above, was put through his paces at the Chelsea training base in Cobham on Wednesday.
And some Blues fans have taken to Reddit to bring up a change in the goalkeeper’s appearance as he’s now sporting a moustache.