Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Edouard Mendy remains the first-choice goalkepeer despite despite Kepa Arrizabalaga’s surprise start in Newcastle United win.

Tuchel’s decision to start the Spain international ahead of Mendy on Monday certainly raised some eyebrows.

Mendy has established himself as the No.1 at Chelsea and kept third-most clean-sheets in the league (10) despite missing out on the first three games of the season prior to his arrival.

It worked out well in the end as Chelsea cruised past Newcastle in a 2-0 home victory with Arrizabalaga keeping another clean-sheet.

However, Tuchel made it clear after the game that Mendy is still his first-choice goalkeeper and will return in goal.

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(Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“Edou is the number one, this is clear. It was clear before the game and it stays like this,” the manager told Sky Sports (via Football Daily).

“I am happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet. It was the moment to let him feel the rhythm and build up his confidence. 

“It was clear before that we hoped for the best performance.

“But Edou will be in goal from now on as he recovered physically and mentally and right now, he is the number one.”

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(Photo by PAUL CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Before the game, Tuchel explained (to Sky Sports) that he decided to give Arrizabalaga another start because he had a very good game in midweek against Barnsley.

“At the same time, we can give Edou the chance to mentally recover because it is a demanding position mentally and concentration-wise,” he added.

“So with one decision we have both advantages.”

Chronicle view

While some would say Tuchel took unnecessary risks, the decision likely had a big impact on Arrizabalaga’s confidence.

This might also reignite the competition for the goalkeeper spot — and it will only benefit Chelsea as a team.

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