Chelsea’s Cezar Azpilicueta explains how Kepa has improved under Thomas Tuchel
Cezar Azpilicueta has recently been asked how Kepa Arrizabalaga has improved since Thomas Tuchel joined the club.
Kepa was signed by Chelsea in August of 2018 for a staggering £71m, making him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
However, Kepa’s hefty price-tag was a lot to live up to, and after struggling under Maurizio Sarri and then Frank Lampard, Chelsea opted to bring in Edouard Mendy, who has firmly cemented his spot as the Blues’ no.1.
Now though, with Mendy having spent a month away at the AFCON and Kepa also getting some other chances in cup matches, the Spaniard looks to be improving a fair bit.
And when asked how his fellow countryman has improved under Tuchel, Azpilicueta had this to say: “The first season he did very well. It’s not easy to become the world’s most expensive goalkeeper and he went through tough moments.
“Since Thomas arrived, he gave him confidence, gave him games, he started to be really important for the team.
“The attitude he has had has been amazing towards Edou (Mendy), Marcus (Bettinelli) and Hilario, the goalkeeping coach. We have a fantastic group of goalkeepers and we’ve seen how important they are for the team.
“Whoever plays, plays a huge part. We are very lucky to have two goalkeepers like Edou – a champion of Africa which is amazing for him and his country – and to have Kepa here as well.
“I see only the work Kepa has been doing in every training session even if he knew he wasn’t going to play. He has always been ready for the team and we have to enjoy what the situation is with our goalkeepers and have them with us.”
Will Kepa ever be Chelsea’s no.1 again?
Now though, despite his improving form, Mendy will be back for Chelsea very soon.
And as the African has proven to be one of the best keepers in Europe since his move to west London, it still remains hard to see Tuchel dropping Mendy that often.
Mendy, 29, is also only two years older than Kepa, so it is not like the Spaniard can simply wait about for his chance once Mendy retires or becomes too old.
Instead, if he really wishes to stake a claim as a top club’s no.1, perhaps a loan move would suit Kepa.