‘Everyone wants to play’ – Chelsea star’s admission on lack of game time

Date published: Monday 6th September 2021 7:26 - James Holland

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has spoken about his position as Edouard Mendy’s backup at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard became the most expensive shot-stopper of all time when Chelsea signed him for £71.6million three years ago. He made 36 appearances in the Premier League in his debut campaign, keeping 14 clean sheets, as the Blues finished third.

However, mistakes started to creep into his game and Chelsea were forced to buy Mendy in September last year.

The Senegal international played in a majority of matches last term and has continued as Thomas Tuchel’s number one this year.

When asked about his role, Arrizabalaga told Radio Marca (via Sport Witness): “Everyone wants to play. Everyone wants to be in the starting line up on Saturday and Sunday.

“For outfield players, there’s a chance of coming on, but the goalkeeper surely isn’t going to play. It’s not easy. The game days when you don’t play aren’t easy.

“You need to assume your role at that point. Help as best you can. During the week, on a daily basis, push to the maximum. Doing it for you, not for anyone else, just to be prepared. To keep improving and to be ready when given the opportunity or for any circumstance.”

The 26-year-old seemed upbeat when discussing Chelsea’s recent success. They lifted the Champions League in May and beat Villarreal in the European Super Cup last month.

Kepa Arrizabalaga Chelsea

“It’s one of the secrets of the successes we’ve had – the team we have is filled with great players,” he added. “Everyone wants to play in the most important games.

“Those who play, those who don’t play, there’s support. Those who don’t play, they’re pushing too. It’s a group that goes in the same direction, that rejoices in the success of his teammate and that helps when someone is not having a good time.”

Arrizabalaga’s next appearance could come in the Carabao Cup. Chelsea host Dean Smith’s Aston Villa on Wednesday September 22.


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Alonso discusses new Chelsea arrival

Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso has backed new signing Saul Niguez to succeed at the club.

Saul joined on an initial loan, worth £3.4m, while the Blues have the option to make his transfer permanent for £30m next summer.

Alonso told Chelsea’s official website: “I know Saul from the national team, and also we shared a manager when we were in the Real Madrid academy.

“He’s a great player. His conditions are going to be good for the Premier League. He is strong physically, he is very good in the air, and those are things you need when you move to this league.

“He is ready to kick off and hopefully we can take advantage of his qualities and he will be of great help to the team, because it’s going to be a long year, with a lot of competitions.”

READ MORE: Resurgent Chelsea ace makes belief claim in contrast of Tuchel, Lampard

 

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