Kepa: ‘I have never thought about leaving Chelsea’

Stefan Bienkowski
Kepa: ‘I have never thought about leaving Chelsea’

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has confirmed that he’s never thought about leaving the club despite his struggles to get game time this season. 

Kepa was initially signed in 2018 from Athletic Bilbao for a remarkable fee of £72 million and quickly became a key player for Chelsea. 

In the 2018/19 season the shot stopper featured in 54 games and in 2019/20 he played in 41 under Frank Lampard’s management. 

However, a dip in performances last season was then coupled with the signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Stade Rennais in the summer and since then Kepa has played just eight games for the Premier League side. 

As such, few would begrudge the Spanish goalkeeper now considering his options and a potential move away from Chelsea. 

Yet it seems as though Kepa remains happy at Chelsea and wants to fight for his place in Thomas Tuchel’s new-look side. 

 “I have never thought about leaving Chelsea,” the 26-year-old goalkeeper has told Tiempo de Juego.

“In my very good [first] season we won the Europa League, qualified for the Champions League, and I was playing for the national team. The second year we changed coaches.”

During Kepa’s poor run of form and subsequent demotion to the bench, some reports suggested that much of the goalkeeper’s demise was down to a breakdown in communication between him and the previous Chelsea manager. 

However, Kepa was quick to downplay any suggestion that he failed to get on with Tuchel’s predecessor. 

“With Lampard there had been no problem. I haven’t given my best version [and] it is true that I have not played how I wanted to play.”

Indeed, with a new manager in the door and picking his own team, Kepa may feel as though the No.1 shirt is back up for grabs. 

While Mendy remains Tuchel’s preferred choice between the posts, the Senegalese goalkeeper has also proved to be rather error-prone and could be replaced if Kepa continues to work hard in training.