'Play more regularly': Chelsea star sends message to Tuchel following rare start vs Southampton
Kepa Arrizabalaga admitted he would like to be included more for Chelsea after his penalty heroics knocked Southampton out of the Carabao Cup last night.
As quoted by the Guardian, Arrizabalaga confirmed his wishes to feature more often for the Blues, having hardly played at all this season.
The Spaniard started just a third game of the campaign against Southampton.
His moment in the spotlight allowed Edouard Mendy to rest for once ahead of a flurry of fixtures before the international break.
Kepa ensured he did not waste this infrequent opportunity.
Although the 27-year-old was mainly at fault for the Saints equaliser, he redeemed himself by saving two efforts in the resulting shoot-out.
Not for the first time, the world’s most expensive ‘keeper proved to be priceless from 12 yards.
Unfortunately, his fame might be short-lived, as Mendy will most likely return on the weekend to face Newcastle United in the Premier League.
However, Kepa has once again proved to Tuchel he is more than capable of assuming the main responsibility between the sticks.
“Of course I want to play more regularly,” admitted the spot-kick king.
“My last game was also a cup game, more or less a month ago. So it’s not easy to sometimes step in and feel the same as you would if you play every week.
“But I try to be ready, train hard, be involved in the team. Also, I feel the confidence of the manager – this is really important.
“I’ve felt his support from the beginning and I think when I step in I’m ready to help the team. I’m happy to do that.
“It’s really important. I want to keep playing and if we lose in the cup and we’re out, I have one game less.
“I start with this mindset. But I really want to enjoy being on the pitch with that pressure.”
Keep ‘um coming for Kepa
Luckily for Kepa, he is almost certainly going to be gifted additional game time throughout January and possibly into February.
Permitted injuries do not play a part, Mendy will be jetting off with Senegal to compete for the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
The tournament could last until the 6th of the second month for Chelsea’s no.1, meaning his station at Stamford Bridge will need filling.
Kepa is first in line, but Marcus Bettinelli also provides extra competition.