Kepa to be get chance to salvage his Chelsea career under Tuchel

Kepa Arrizabalaga to be given chance to salvage his Chelsea career with new boss Thomas Tuchel keen to put faith in £72m goalkeeper… with German coach challenging him to keep a clean sheet in FA Cup tie at Barnsley

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga is to be given an opportunity to salvage his Chelsea career 
  • The £72m goalkeeper was out-of-favour under previous boss Frank Lampard
  • New manager Thomas Tuchel is keen to put faith and trust in the Spaniard 
  • Arrizabalaga will start for a much-changed Chelsea side away to Barnsley 

Thomas Tuchel has promised Kepa Arrizabalaga a fresh start and claims there can be a long-term future at Chelsea for the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.

Kepa has made six appearances this season and none since a mistake led to a Luton goal in the FA Cup fourth round, Frank Lampard’s last game in charge.

His confidence is low and hopes of representing Spain in the Euros have receded but the new head coach is determined to coax him back to form, starting at Barnsley, on Thursday night. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga will start for Chelsea in their FA Cup fifth round tie away against Barnsley

New boss Thomas Tuchel is keen to give the keeper chance to turn his Chelsea career around

‘I absolutely believe he can turn it around,’ said Tuchel. ‘This an opportunity and hopefully he does not want to overachieve. I want him to play a normal match. He does not have to show he is ready to be Spain’s No 1 in the summer.

‘He has just to show his quality. Not more and not less. I don’t expect him to score and play with a clean sheet. I just expect he helps us with a solid performance.’

Tuchel agreed the record fee seemed to have burdened 26-year-old Kepa since his £72million move from Athletic Bilbao in August 2018.

‘Maybe the circumstances of his transfer are a little bit on his shoulders,’ he added. 

The Spaniard is hopeful of staking a strong claim to be Spain’s No 1 this summer at the Euros

‘That was the impression from outside. From inside, I see a nice guy with an open personality and a lot of quality.

‘This is a new start for him because I don’t have a history with him. It is our job to push Kepa to the limit, to trust him and to build up his strength because we rely on him.’

Tuchel is set to make major changes at Barnsley. Injuries rule out Thiago Silva and Timo Werner. Hakim Ziyech, N’Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour are expected to start.

Chelsea will play the away leg of the Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid in Bucharest to comply with Covid-related travel restrictions.

‘We have to adapt and look at the solutions,’ said Tuchel. 

‘Obviously they don’t have the home advantage but I don’t doubt they will be ready to fight against us.’ 

Tuchel wants a clean sheet from Arrizabalaga as he joked he ‘doesn’t expect him to score’

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