Thomas Tuchel: Kepa Arrizabalaga can ‘absolutely’ kick-start his Chelsea career

Kepa Arrizabalaga starts in goal for Chelsea tonight in the FA Cup 5th Round tie versus Barnsley, that has been confirmed by Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.

At the moment he is only being afforded bit-part chances in the sticks for Chelsea, with Edouard Mendy keeping goal in the big games.

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But Tuchel has handed Kepa a lifeline and says that he ‘absolutely’ does have a chance to kick-start his Chelsea career.

This comes after The Telegraph [below] reported yesterday that the Chelsea board are not wanting to give up on Kepa just yet.

Tuchel says that his staff are coming at this situation from an ‘outside view’ and will give him every chance to prove himself to them under the new reign.

But Tuchel appears to leave every possible door open for Kepa to perform, train well, and get a chance of taking his number one spot back from Mendy.

Tuchel said:

“He [Kepa] has big goals to achieve and personal ambition. This is normal; it’s why he’s here.

“So we have to manage expectations because I don’t expect him to score & keep a clean sheet. I just want him to help us with his quality and he gives a solid performance to help the team.

“He doesn’t have to show me or anybody else tomorrow that he’s ready to be Spain’s no.1 in the summer. He just has to show his quality. Not more or less.

“Absolutely, absolutely [Kepa can kickstart Chelsea career]. He will play tomorrow; he will start tomorrow. From outside, we had a view on his situation and saw some difficulties on the sporting side.

“If you make mistakes everybody sees them & talks about them. So you need a lot of mental strength & quality & I see this in all three goalkeepers. Kepa has a chance tomorrow & I hope he can show what he shows in training.

“We didn’t make a change in the first game and Edou was strong in the moment. So tomorrow’s an opportunity to show & hopefully, it’s very important for me to say this, he doesn’t want to overachieve. I want him to do a normal match tomorrow.”

Quotes via Goal.