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Thomas Tuchel says there is a home at Chelsea for star who is ‘pushing’

Thomas Tuchel says there is no pressure on Kepa Arrizabalaga and has insisted there is a place at Chelsea for the £72m man.

Kepa was thrust into the action at the weekend for his first start of the season. With Edouard Mendy struggling with a hip problem the Spaniard stepped in and performed confidently in the 3-0 win at Tottenham.

The 26-year-old looks set to keep his spot on Wednesday night too with Mendy still missing. It will give Kepa another chance to impress when Chelsea face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup. Not that Tuchel is looking for Kepa to prove himself.

The Chelsea boss insists he is happy with the Spaniard, who fell down the pecking order after Senegal star Mendy arrived under Frank Lampard in 2020.

And while Tuchel has also settled on Mendy as his No.1, he has made it clear that he wants to keep Kepa at Stamford Bridge.

“It was not necessary for him to prove to me he is a good goalkeeper, I see this every day in training,” said Tuchel.

“Maybe that was the point where he did not try too hard to convince everybody that he is worth the money that the club paid for him.

“Who cares about the money? OK, the money was paid, so what now? The question is now can we afford to have him as a goalkeeper?

“We have two super strong goalkeepers and we need both of them. If you need any proof, look at last weekend. He was a key factor in us keeping a clean sheet and it’s as easy as that.

“If the money is too high or not or whatever, these measurements do not exist for us.


“I feel the pressure is off his shoulders and it is well deserved that it is off his shoulders, because it is not his fault.”

Tuchel believes that Kepa is “pushing” his claims and seems more content with life at Cobham.

“He seems happy to me; maybe he might not be happy with his situation but he seems happy in the place where he is and what part he plays in this team,” said Tuchel.

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Kepa ‘pushing’

“Everybody wants to have more minutes and we have contracts for 21 to 24 players, including goalkeepers.

“We simply cannot give everyone minutes, not the same amount.


“It is more dramatic for the goalkeeper because obviously you don’t change within games. So it maybe seems even worse, the situation, or harder, but I don’t feel Kepa like this.

“He is an open guy, a humble guy, a super nice guy, a top, top professional sports guy and a big part of this squad.

“And I feel him happy, maybe not fully with a lack of minutes. But I don’t feel that he is concerned at the moment.

“He is pushing, fighting for his chances and you cannot force situations.

“Now I have the feeling, and the mindset, that he has been here for some time now and with the calmness that he trains with, his positivity, it got a big reward and it came to him. He did not force it.”

READ MORE: Thomas Tuchel hints at Chelsea strike partnership he has up his sleeve


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