Thomas Tuchel has hinted that Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will depart this summer, acknowledging that the Spaniard is “unhappy” with his situation at Stamford Bridge and believes he deserves to play more.
With a shock £72 million transfer from Athletic Bilbao in 2018, Arrizabalaga became the most expensive goalkeeper in history.
After two successful seasons at Bilbao, the Spaniard struggled to live up to the promise at Stamford Bridge, eventually losing his starting spot to 2020 signing Edouard Mendy.
Since displacing Arrizabalaga, Mendy has swiftly established himself as one of Europe’s greatest goalkeepers, with the latter making just 11 Premier League games in the last two seasons.
Due to his limited playing time in West London, Arrizabalaga has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, with Premier League rivals Newcastle United and other European clubs reportedly interested in signing him this summer.
Arrizabalaga might be one of several Chelsea players set to depart this summer, with Antonio Rudiger set to join Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen set to join Barcelona.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Romelu Lukaku, and Christian Pulisic, the club’s captain, have all been linked with a move away.
Tuchel said of Arrizabalaga’s future: ‘It depends on what he wants and what his ambitions are, but I know we are very fortunate to have Edou (Mendy) and Kepa in our team.’
‘I am certain that Kepa is unhappy with his status and believes that he is capable of being a strong number one.
‘He came here as the number one goalie, so the position is difficult.’ I can tell you that he has always been a terrific team player and has never let anyone down.
‘So no, we didn’t talk about it; I know the goalkeepers’ coaches are having this chat right now, and then we’ll take our time talking to them.’
‘We must consider what is best, what the options are, and I, for one, am overjoyed to have both excellent goalkeepers. let’s see.’
Arrizabalaga came on in the EFL Cup penalty shootout against Liverpool earlier this season, but he failed to save 11 successful attempts before blazing his own kick over the bar.
Thomas Tuchel resisted the urge to use the same tactics in the FA Cup final last weekend, but Chelsea suffered the same result, with Liverpool prevailing 6-5 on penalties.
Chelsea, who drew 1-1 with Leicester yesterday night, play Watford on Sunday to wrap out the 2021-2022 season, however Arrizabalaga is unlikely to play.