In a press conference with his national team, Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga has taken aim at his club manager Frank Lampard and has claimed that he feels an additional boost of confidence when he plays for his national team.
The former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper started ahead of David de Gea for Spain against Portugal this week and kept a clean sheet. Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled at Chelsea and is likely to move away from the club at the end of the season.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has endured a miserable stint at Chelsea and has a dismal record with the Premier League giants. The Spaniard was replaced by Willy Caballero towards the end of last season and is unlikely to keep his place in the Chelsea line-up this season.
Frank Lampard has been fairly diplomatic in his approach to Kepa Arrizabalaga's performances but it is no secret that the former Blues midfielder has been looking for a viable alternative. With the acquisition of Edouard Mendy from Rennes, Chelsea are unlikely to avail the services of Kepa Arrizabalaga regularly this season.
Kepa Arrizabalaga speaks about his Chelsea career after positive Spain performance
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been heavily criticised for his underwhelming performances at Chelsea. The Blues goalkeeper has been disappointing over the past year and might need to look for a new club in the coming months.
The Spaniard was offered an opportunity by Luis Enrique as La Furia Roja took on a formidable Portugal side earlier this week. Kepa Arrizabalaga was rarely troubled during the game and his assured performance gave Spain a clean sheet.
After the game, Kepa Arrizabalaga claimed that he was happy with the confidence that Spain's coaching unit has placed in him and said that he feels at home with the national side.
"I think it was a good game and I'm happy with the confidence of the coach. When I'm needed to help on the pitch, I try to do the best possible. It was a game of great intensity. We had more control in the first half."
The Spaniard was beaten on two occasions during the game as Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches fired their shots off the cross-bar. Kepa Arrizabalaga was comfortable with the ball at his feet, however, and will want to prove a point with his national team.
“We have to improve because we conceded a few clear chances, which you can pay for in a tournament."
Kepa Arrizabalaga is determined to fight for his place at Chelsea this season. With Edouard Mendy picking up a clean sheet in his first game for Chelsea against Crystal Palace earlier this month.
The Blues have a packed schedule this season, however, and Kepa Arrizabalaga may well get his chances in the EFL Cup and the FA Cup. The Spaniard has plenty of work to do to win Frank Lampard's trust and will have to be at his best for the remainder of the season.
Published 08 Oct 2020, 20:16 IST