Chelsea star looking to leave on loan to earn World Cup spot and get regular playing time - Reports

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel looks on during a match.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel looks on during a match.
Anantaajith Ra

Chelsea custodian Kepa Arrizabalaga is reportedly looking to leave Stamford Bridge on loan this summer in search of regular playing time.

According to the Daily Mail, Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice are keen to bring in Arrizabalaga on a loan deal. The report added that some Italian and Spanish clubs have also expressed interest in the 27-year-old.

With the FIFA World Cup to come later this year, Arrizabalaga is rumored to be looking to make his way into the Spanish squad. The Blues goalkeeper made his 11th and most recent appearance for La Roja in October 2020 and has evidently fallen down in the pecking order.

Info : Walter Benitez parti, l'OGC Nice tente de se faire prêter Kepa Arrizabalaga, le gardien international espagnol de Chelsea.…

Luis Enrique has preferred to pick keepers who play regularly for their club outfits. Athletic Bilbao's Unai Simon, Brentford's David Raya and Brighton & Hove Albion's Robert Sanchez made his most recent squad for Spain's UEFA Nations League matches. All three impressed for their respective clubs during the 2021-22 campaign.

Arrizabalaga, meanwhile, made just 15 appearances for Chelsea last season. He did manage a commendable eight clean sheets in those games, but is evidently the second-choice goalkeeper behind Edouard Mendy.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has struggled at Chelsea since his big-money move in 2018

Arrizabalaga joined Chelsea from Bilbao on a deal worth £71.6 million back in 2018. The deal made him the most expensive keeper ever, a record that he still holds to date.

He enjoyed a fairly successful debut season, making 54 appearances across all competitions under Maurizio Sarri. Arrizabalaga played an important role as the Blues lifted the UEFA Europa League title and finished third in the Premier League.

The Spaniard was the first-choice custodian the following campaign under Frank Lampard as well. However, the mistakes in his game became more evident, forcing Chelsea to buy Mendy from Stade Rennes in the summer of 2020.

Mendy impressed from the start to become the Blues' first-choice goalkeeper, limiting Arrizabalaga to just 14 appearances during the 2020-21 season. The Senegalese remained an undisputed starter under Thomas Tuchel after Lampard's departure as well.

Overall, Arrizabalaga has played 123 times in nearly four years at Stamford Bridge. He has recorded 47 clean sheets while shipping in 130 goals, though he does have a glittering trophy cabinet.

Arrizabalaga has won the Europa League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his time with the Blues.

History is made.Enjoy your sunday, blues! 💙@chelseafc #ClubWorldCup

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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