EPL

Kepa to discuss Chelsea future with Tuchel with 'clear message I want to play more'

By Sports Desk June 24, 2022

Kepa Arrizabalaga says he will head into discussions with Thomas Tuchel over his Chelsea future with the "clear message that I want to play more".

Chelsea splashed a world-record fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Kepa from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6m on a seven-year contract in 2018 as a replacement for the outbound Thibaut Courtois.

Edouard Mendy arrived at Stamford Bridge two years later, joining on a five-year deal from Rennes to provide competition to Kepa, who played more than 30 Premier League games in each of his first two seasons.

Mendy then emerged as Tuchel's first-choice goalkeeper, with Kepa limited to just seven Premier League appearances in the 2020-21 season and only four the following league campaign.

The Spain international was utilised in cup competitions by Chelsea, missing a penalty in the EFL Cup final loss to Liverpool after being brought on in extra time for the shoot-out.

Kepa does not want to settle for being a backup option, though, and told Marca he will hold conversations with Tuchel over his future.

"I'm excited, ambitious, eager to start, to enjoy myself and, above all, to play more. I want to be on the pitch more," the 27-year-old said.

"The conversation with him [Tuchel] is easy; on a day-to-day basis, he is totally accessible to the players. Personally, I notice the affection and confidence he has in me.

"Obviously, I want to play more. It's true that he's giving another teammate [Mendy] a lift, and that's what I'm trying to change in my day-to-day life; I want to play, and that's what I'm training and preparing for.

"Right now, I'm a Chelsea player, but what I know is that I want to play more because, after a year or two where, when I have played, I have had a great return.

"I'm not desperate. At the end of the day, I'm at a very big club… I'll talk to the coach, and we'll decide, but with a clear message that I want to play more."

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