Kepa Arrizabalaga was given the heads up in the game against Newcastle United and it had Chelsea fans a bit worried for a moment. The Spaniard had been highly inconsistent before, and if there is one thing that is needed out of a goalkeeper, it is consistency. However, Arrizabalaga held his own against a rather lackluster Newcastle side and even made a few last gasp saves to keep a clean sheet and help Thomas Tuchel get his fifth win in his sixth game in charge.
Although the 26-year-old did put on an impressive performance against the Magpies, Tuchel did clarify that Eduardo Mendy is still the first-choice keeper and Kepa was given the nod as he had performed well in the 1-0 win against Barnsley in the FA Cup.
Thomas Tuchel explains why he chose Kepa Arrizabalaga over Eduardo Mendy.
Tuchel told Sky Sports(via Goal), that the team needed Kepa to be in form and alert in case something happened to Mendy which inadvertently made him the number one choice for Chelsea. He said in the interview,
“We need a strong Kepa in our squad,”
“He had a good game in the cup so we decided to give him another match to build up a little bit of rhythm, confidence and to trust him, because he did very well.”
However, Tuchel clarified that Mendy was still his number one goalkeeper and the French keeper needed a bit of rest as well. Goalkeeping is a very tough job as it requires mental concentration at all times and thus the break also helped Mendy regain his composure. The Blues boss said,
“Edou is the number one, this is clear, It was clear before the game and it stays like this.”
Thus, while the world’s most expensive keeper has improved significantly from last season, he is still only the second-choice keeper for the London side. Mendy has been impressive since the day he arrive from the Ligue 1 and the Blues could have been even further down the table had it not been for the keeper. Tuchel, on the other hand, has helped Chelsea gain a Champions League position and if things continue like this, they could also get their hands on a silverware this season, most likely the FA Cup.
Image Credit- Chelsea FC Twitter