Kepa Arrizabalaga says he is determined to ‘play more’ next season, whether that be at Chelsea or elsewhere.
The Spain international became Chelsea’s record signing when he replaced Thibaut Courtois as the team’s first choice goalkeeper in 2018, signing for a fee of £71m at the beginning of ’s sole season in charge.
His first two seasons were laden with errors, though, and in 2022 purchased Édouard Mendy from Stade Rennais in Ligue 1 in order to replace Arrizabalaga. Since then, Mendy has been starting choice under Lampard and latterly , leaving Arrizabalaga on the bench.
The 27-year-old has been used by Tuchel as a stand-in penalty shootout goalkeeper, replacing Mendy in both the UEFA Super Cup final against Villarreal and the Carabao Cup final last season, succeeding in the former and missing the crucial spot-kick himself in the latter.
For the former Athletic Bilbao player, playing regular football is now the priority.
‘Obviously, I want to play more,’ Kepa admitted. ‘It’s true that he’s choosing another teammate [Mendy] and that’s what I’m trying to change in my day-to-day life. I want to play and that’s what I train and prepare for.’
Arrizabalaga insists that he is not ‘desperate’ to leave Chelsea, and that his ideal scenario would be to become number one again at Stamford Bridge, but will consider a move away if that is not possible.
‘Right now I’m a player, but what is clear to me is that I want to play more, because I’ve come from a year or two where, when I’ve played, I’ve had great performances.
‘For that reason, for the good performances I’ve had, the feeling is that I want more. I want to play more. I’m at Chelsea and I want to succeed here. And if I can’t, we would look at different things, because my clear objective is to play.
‘I’m not desperate. At the end of the day, I’m at a very big club. I will talk to the coach and we will decide, but with the clear message that I want to play more.’
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