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"I have the confidence to work and turn it around," says Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea vs Liverpool - Premier League
Chelsea vs Liverpool - Premier League
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 06 Oct 2020, 22:33 IST
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Embattled Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is confident of turning around his career at the club.

The 26-year-old was signed by Chelsea for a world-record fee of £72m from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 but has largely struggled under the weight of expectation, with the jury still out about his abilities.

Throughout his Chelsea career, Arrizabalaga has been plagued by inconsistency and has had serious questions asked about his suitability to be the Chelsea custodian in the long term. In his two years since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, the Spain international has set a host of unwanted records in the Premier League.

The former Bilbao keeper's poor form saw him dropped by Frank Lampard from the Chelsea first-team during the former player's first season at the helm of the London club.

Despite being given a second lease of life this season, Kepa Arrizabalaga has seemingly failed to stake his claim for a place in the Chelsea playing-XI.

Arrizabalaga was easily beaten by Leandro Trossard in Chelsea's 3-1 Premier League victory over Brighton on Matchday 1 before the keeper 'gifted' Sadio Mane the second goal in the Blues' 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

“I do not have the feeling of being a substitute": Kepa Arrizabalaga on arrival of Eduard Mendy at Chelsea

The poor performances of Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal last season forced Chelsea to frantically search for a new goalkeeper, with the club ultimately acquiring Edouard Mendy from Rennes on a £21.6m transfer.

The Senegal international was bought on the recommendation of current Chelsea adviser Petr Cech who is himself a former Rennes goalkeeper.

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In his first match in goal, Mendy helped Chelsea keep their first clean sheet in five matches as the Blues beat Crystal Palace 4-0, leading many to suggest that he may be an upgrade on Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Arrizabalaga, however, insists that it is not the case and said as much in a press conference relayed by Mundo Deportivo:

''I feel good, strong, confident. It may not be the desired or dreamed situation, but sometimes we have to experience situations like this. I have the confidence to work and turn it around."
“I do not have the feeling of being a substitute. We have three goalkeepers, and the level is very high. It is the coach who chooses the eleven, and we have to try to do our best and if we do not play, add as much as possible.”

The embattled goalkeeper considers himself 'lucky' to be playing for teams like Chelsea and Spain and wishes to take things on a daily basis and not think too far into the future.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga is currently with the Spain national team for a friendly against Portugal and Nations League fixtures against Switzerland and Ukraine before he returns to club duty.

“I’m in a great club, in a great national team. I feel lucky to belong to these two teams. Obviously all players want to play. I do not consider myself beyond the day to day. In football, it is difficult to look at the medium-long term. Everything can change. Now the closest thing is the national team, and my focus is put in these three games.”
Published 06 Oct 2020, 22:33 IST
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