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Chelsea not giving up on Kepa just yet as Tuchel promises ‘new start’

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Optimism

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Chelsea Training and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s position as the deputy goalkeeper in the squad has remained unchanged with Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, with Edouard Mendy still the starter and giving no reason to re-elevate the world’s most expensive goalkeeper from being just the backup. One could argue that the situation is unsustainable, untenable, and more importantly, detrimental to Kepa’s own future career, and that he would be better served by a change in scenery.

According to the Telegraph however, the club still has “faith” in Kepa’s abilities and are willing to give him “more time” to show why they made such a huge financial blunder investment on him.

Tuchel himself seems more than willing to give a second chance, even if it might be a while before we see Kepa in a Premier League or Champions League match again.

“The good thing for him is that this is a new start for him because I don’t have a history with him. [...] This is an opportunity [against Barnsley] and hopefully he does not want to overachieve. I want him to play a normal match. He does not have to show me or anybody else that he is ready to be Spain’s No 1.”

While on some level we can definitely sympathize with Kepa in his situation, one cannot help but wonder if keeping him in the same environment where he encountered such a downturn in his fortunes is the ideal solution — even if some of those circumstances were not his fault at all, such as the exorbitant transfer fee.

Tuchel is certainly sympathetic as well, but that’s practically the only viable approach at the moment.

“We had a view on his situation and some difficulties on the sporting side. Maybe, also, the circumstances of his transfer are a little bit on his shoulders.

“[Goalkeeper] is a special position. If you do mistakes, everybody sees it and talks about it so you need a lot of mental strength and quality. I see this in all of the three goalkeepers. I absolutely believe [Arrizabalaga can turn it around].”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Guardian

Let’s hope that Kepa indeed makes most of his opportunity tomorrow in the FA Cup match against Barnsley — and not just for his own sake.