Olivier Giroud has hailed the way Chelsea teammate Kepa Arrizabalaga performs in training, stating that he’s ready to play whenever needed.
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Edouard Mendy is the first-choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge,.
Despite the fact Mendy’s status is secured, Chelsea’s boss has started Spanish shot-stopper Kepa in the last two consecutive games to try give him a confidence boost.
The £150,000-a-week (Spotrac) goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 Carabao Cup win against Barnsley, as well as on Monday night’s 2-0 victory against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Kepa, 26, lost his starting position at Chelsea this season, but has had some minutes under the new manager and at one stage it looked like he might not play for the Blues again.
Giroud has given a glowing verdict on the goalkeeper:
“I’m happy for him. He’s stayed focused on his job and committed to what he has to do,” Giroud said, as quoted by the club’s official website.
“Every day at training he is working hard to be ready when the manager will ask him to play and he played very well I think, like the team.”
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It would be a colossal shock if Kepa was to somehow perform a U-turn and regain his position at Chelsea, but credit must go to Tuchel for his handling of him.
He’s got to take confidence from back-to-back matches and perhaps it’ll help push his valuation up, as it must have plummeted since his £71million (BBC) signing from Athletic Bilbao.
All noise to come out of the club suggests Kepa has continued to train hard, which is a credit to the individual as he’s had a tough time in the past 18 months as a player.