Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga eyes battle for No1 spot as goalkeeper praises new boss Graham Potter’s approach

·3-min read
Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga eyes battle for No1 spot as goalkeeper praises new boss Graham Potter’s approach

Kepa Arrizabalaga believes his form under Thomas Tuchel has earned him the chance at more regular gametime under new Chelsea boss Graham Potter.

Signed as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, Kepa has been resigned to back-up duties behind Edouard Mendy since the Senegalese shot-stopper joined the club in 2020.

However, the Blues’ custodian has recently succumbed to a few high-profile errors and Kepa hopes that he will get his chance under Potter in the coming months.

He told reporters: “The last season when I played I felt very well but [only in] 15 games, something like this. Not a big amount. So now when I have the opportunity I try to do my best and I try to help the team.

“Like I did in my last games, I am happy with my performances. I am going to enjoy the Champions League games on the pitch so it is a fresh start and I am happy and I will take it.”

The Spain international’s comments came after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to RB Salzburg where Chelsea squandered a lead after Raheem Sterling’s opening goal.

It was still a match in which Chelsea showed notable signs of improvement and Kepa has been impressed with Potter’s first week in charge.

“He is very positive in his mind, he tries to give us positivity,” he added.

“We changed a couple of things in the line-up and the structure. So we have to adjust to that. Thinking, watching and understanding how we play.

“It’s the same for all the team. We want a good presence on the pitch, take the ball, attack as much as we can, and when we lose the ball recover it as soon as possible.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“Try to create chances, to involve the fans with the atmosphere in the stadium and we are going to step it forward because it is only two or three training with the [manager]. So it is just the beginning. But we saw positive things. A good point to start [from].

“We are sad because Thomas achieved big things with us. We had a very good time with him. It is sad always when one manager gets sacked.

“And now with Graham, we have a new start, different ideas and I think the fans are waiting to see what is going to happen and how it will be.

“So let’s train, let’s take his ideas quickly and now we have a couple of weeks without a game, so let’s train and get these ideas.”

Headlines about the new manager have been overshadowed somewhat by a debate around Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly. The Blues co-owner said that he wants a Premier League All-Star game between teams from the North and South of England.

It’s something that Kepa would be happy to sign up for, half-jokingly saying he would be the best goalkeeper for the job.

“I am in goal,” he said with a smile. “It is a completely different idea. I think we have to know a little bit more about it. It’s just like in the NBA.

“It should be a big game. There are a lot of big players in this league, North v South. We will see. It can be a different idea but I don’t know at what point can we play this game. So we’ll see.”