ENGLISH FOOTBALL

Chelsea boss Tuchel admits out-of-favour goalkeeper could leave the club in summer

Kepa Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga has only shown glimpses of his talent since joining Chelsea in 2018. Moreover, Edouard Mendy’s rise has further contributed to Kepa’s downfall. Kepa has lost his starting place in the team and has only played 29 games since Mendy’s arrival in 2020. As a result, the goalkeeper is anticipating an exit in the summer, with Chelsea believed to be well aware of the same. And now manager Thomas Tuchel has suggested that Kepa could be on the move at the end of the season.

Chelsea splashed a record fee of £72 million on Kepa, making him the most expensive goalkeeper of all time. However, their move has backfired massively as Kepa’s standards have been below par from his Athletic Bilbao days. The Spaniard impressed Chelsea while at Athletic but has only experienced a downfall since joining the Blues. A little has been justified by Kepa from the hype that he created in his two seasons with Athletic.

As a result, Chelsea had to heavy-heartedly sign Kepa’s replacement after just two seasons of being the goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge. The Blues landed Edouard Mendy from Rennes in 2020, however for a mere fee of £22 million. The signing has brilliantly worked for Chelsea as Mendy has delivered staggering performances between the sticks for the club. The Senegalese has helped Chelsea to a Champions League title, a Super Cup, and a Club World Cup.

Chelsea boss hints at the exit of the ‘unhappy’ goalkeeper

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has now conceded that the most expensive goalkeeper of all time could leave in the coming months. The German further added that Kepa is ‘not happy’ over his situation at the club. Tuchel started,

“It depends what he wants and it depends what his plans are, but I know that we are very privileged to have Edou [Mendy] and Kepa in our squad. I know for sure that Kepa is not happy about the situation and he deserves to play more and he can be a strong number one.”

Tuchel further explained that he can understand Kepa’s situation and disappointment at the lack of opportunities. “He arrived as a number one goalkeeper so the situation is not easy. I can tell you that he is a fantastic team player since day one and always was and never let anybody down.”

The manager also admits that he is yet to hold talks over Kepa’s future at the club. Tuchel said,

“So, no, we did not have conversation about it. I know the goalkeepers’ coaches have these conversations at the moment and then we will take our time to speak with him. We must reflect on what’s best, what the possibilities are and I’m, of course as a coach, super happy to have both strong goalkeepers. Let’s see.”

Everyone suggests that the Spanish goalkeeper is ready to leave Chelsea. Mendy is not here to go for some time now. Moreover, the 30-year-old ‘keeper keeps on delivering for Chelsea hence making it difficult for Kepa to make a comeback. Mendy has so far played 92 games for Chelsea and already has kept more clean sheets (48) than Kepa has managed in 124 appearances (47).

Chelsea’s Premier League counterparts Newcastle United are on the hunt for a new goalkeeper. The Magpies have shortlisted Kepa and could come calling for him in the summer. If Newcastle, or any other suitor table a decent offer, both Kepa and Chelsea could agree on a move.

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