Chelsea manager Graham Potter says Kepa Arrizabalaga had no chance of making the World Cup due to injury.
Kepa had been included in Luis Enrique’s preliminary team, having clawed his number one spot at Stamford Bridge back from Edouard Mendy earlier in the season.
The 28-year-old can thank an injury to Mendy for returning to the team, but rightly reserved the spot through several sterling performances.
His position in the Spain camp was always under threat, however.
He last played for the national side back in 2020, making way for the likes of league rivals Robert Sanchez of Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford’s David Raya.
Yet Kepa’s strong form for Chelsea put him back in contention for a seat at the table in Qatar, until disaster struck.
An injury against Brighton last month forced him off at half-time to be replaced by Mendy.
That moment pretty much shattered the Spaniard’s faint World Cup fantasy.
But even without the injury, Potter couldn’t say with certainty Kepa would’ve been on the plane.
“I have no idea,” he said when asked if the ‘keeper had a chance, injuries permitted.
“Obviously he’s not training, so it’s not possible now.”
Kepa sits out Spain squad whilst others suffer
Kepa will be one of several Chelsea players to be disappointed not to be jetting off over the winter.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah also had slim chances of being picked for England, slim being the operative word.
“I had a brief conversation (with them),” continued Potter on the topic of Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah’s possible frustration.
“They are both level headed guys. They are both very respectful and they understand the decision is not an easy one.
“But that’s life. They accept it.”
Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah will instead train and prepare for the return of domestic football after the World Cup.