Kepa Arrizabalaga has been ousted as Chelsea’s number one | Visionhaus/Getty Images
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is “calm and confident” that he can turn his fortunes at the club around after being ousted as Frank Lampard’s number one.
The Spaniard’s woeful second season at Stamford Bridge following his £71.5m move from Athletic Club in 2018 prompted the Blues to pursue a goalkeeper in the summer, with Edouard Mendy arriving from Rennes in a £22m deal.
Sadio Mane charged down the Spaniard to score Liverpool’s second in a 2-0 triumph | NEIL HALL/Getty Images
The French shot-stopper has started the Blues’ last two outings in all competitions, with Kepa’s last appearance coming against Liverpool last month. It was his error which led to Sadio Mane’s second in a 2-0 defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
After what was a relatively impressive start to life in west London, Kepa’s Chelsea venture has swiftly evolved into a nightmare. Nevertheless, the 26-year-old is still hopeful he can turn his career around at Stamford Bridge.
“I’m good. I feel strong, I feel confident,” Kepa said in a news conference while away on international duty with Spain (via ESPN).
New signing Edouard Mendy kept a clean sheet on his Premier League debut at the weekend | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
“Maybe it isn’t my dream situation or what I’d hope for, but in a footballer’s career, you have moments like this. I’m working with calm and I’m confident I can turn it around so that when I have the chance to play, I do it as well as possible.”
The Chelsea man is currently duelling David De Gea for the right to be La Furia Roja’s number one, with Spain taking on Portugal in a friendly on Wednesday night ahead of their Nations League clashes with Switzerland and Ukraine.
“Obviously all players want to play. I do too,” he said.
“I’m not looking beyond the day-to-day, my focus now is on the national team’s games. In football it’s difficult to look to the medium or long term, everything can change from one day to the next.”
Spain boss Luis Enrique has backed Kepa to get through this difficult period | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Spain coach Luis Enrique, meanwhile, has come to the defence of the young shot-stopper after he was singled out for criticism by Lampard following his Liverpool error.
“He [Kepa] looks good to me, really mature. It’s not the nicest situation but it’s not the end of the world either.
“I’ve seen him training at a really high level, he looks motivated, happy and animated,” he added.