Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga eyes challenge for No1 spot as goalkeeper praises new boss Graham Potter’s approach

Signed as the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, Kepa was resigned to act as a substitute behind Edouard Mendy since the Senegalese keeper joined the club in 2020.

However, the Blues keeper has succumbed to a few high-profile mistakes recently and Kepa will hope he gets his chance under Potter in the coming months.

He told reporters: “Last season when I played I felt very good but [only in] 15 games, something like that. Not a large sum. So now, when I have the chance, I try to do my best and try to help the team.

“As in my last games, I’m happy with my performances. I’m going to enjoy the Champions League games on the pitch so it’s a fresh start and I’m happy and I’m going to take it.

The Spain international’s comments came after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to RB Salzburg, where Chelsea lost a lead after Raheem Sterling’s opener.

It was still a game in which Chelsea showed noticeable signs of improvement and Kepa was impressed with Potter’s first week in charge.

“He’s very positive in his spirit, he tries to give us positivity,” he added.

“We changed a few things in the line-up and the structure. So we have to adapt to that. Thinking, watching and understanding how we play.

“It’s the same for the whole team. We want to be present on the pitch, take the ball, attack as much as possible, and when we lose the ball get it back as quickly as possible.

Chelsea F.C. via Getty Images

“Try to create chances, to involve the fans with the atmosphere in the stadium and we will go ahead because it’s only two or three training sessions with the [manager]. So this is only the beginning. But we have seen positive things. A good place to start [from].

“We are sad because Thomas has achieved great things with us. We had a great time with him. It’s always sad when a manager is fired.

“And now with Graham we have a fresh start, different ideas and I think the fans are waiting to see what’s going to happen and how it’s going to go.

“So let’s practice, get his ideas quickly and now we have a few weeks without a game, so let’s practice and get those ideas.”

Headlines about the new manager have been somewhat overshadowed by a debate surrounding new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. The Blues co-owner has said he wants a Premier League All-Star game between teams from the north and south of England.

It’s something Kepa would be happy to sign up for, half-jokingly saying he’d be the best goalkeeper for the job.

“I’m on target,” he said with a smile. “It’s a completely different idea. I think we need to know a little more. It’s like in the NBA.

“It should be a big game. There are a lot of great players in this league, North versus South. We’ll see. It may be a different idea but I don’t know when we can play this game. So we’ll see.


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