Kepa Arrizabalaga Confident he’ll Turn his Chelsea Career Around

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Kepa Arrizabalaga became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he joined Chelsea for $92.1 million from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2018. Having just sold Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, Stamford Bridge were desperate for a replacement and that greatly inflated the cost of the Spaniard.

As the price inflated, expectations were raised, and anything short of world-class, elite of the elite, would fall short. Kepa has of course played at a level nowhere near reaching that bar, but he remains confident he can still turn it around and find success at Chelsea.

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Kepa found himself dropped for plenty of big games by manager Frank Lampard, in favor of Willy Caballero, who is pushing age 40.

Additionally, the Blues’ summer transfer spending spree included signing Edouard Mendy from Rennes to replace Arrizabalaga, who made several errors in the early season. Still, the 26-year-old vows to stay on and keep fighting for his place.

“I feel good, strong and confident,” Kepa Arrizabalaga said while on international break.

“Maybe not the dream and expected situation. We have to experience things like this during our career as footballers. I need to carry on working calmly. I am confident to turn the situation around. When I have the opportunity to play I will try to do it the best possible.”

For now, Mendy is the number one and that means Kepa’s only really playing time will come in domestic cup competitions and even that could be somewhat scarce. It would have been best for Chelsea to have found him a new home this summer transfer window, at least for an on loan basis, but that was extremely difficult to accomplish, given his astronomically high wages.

For now he’s saying, as the platitude goes “all the right things” as he maintains he’ll stay put and fight his way up the depth chart.

“I feel the confidence of the club and also here in the national team,” Kepa added.

“As I have said, I am playing for two top teams with two magnificent coaches. I am only focused on the next match trying to add if possible.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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