THOMAS TUCHEL has praised Kepa Arrizabalaga for accepting a fresh
start at Chelsea – but is adamant Edouard Mendy is still Chelsea’s No
Kepa, who has struggled badly since a £71million move from Athletic
Bilbao in 2018, kept back-to-back clean sheets in Chelsea’s victories
over Barnsley and Newcastle.
And he has been boosted by Tuchel’s arrival last month, in place of
Frank Lampard – who had been deeply sceptical about the Spaniard.
But Mendy is expected to return for Saturday's visit to
Southampton, as well as for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with
And Tuchel said: “I encouraged Kepa to take it as a fresh start and to
see the possibilities in it.
“That is what he did. He earned his right to play – he had two clean
sheets, that is the best a goalkeeper can have for his confidence.
“But nothing has changed. Edouard is still the No 1, he deserves to be
the No 1.
"You need to be clear, you cannot hide your opinion in press
conferences and in the dressing-room.
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“But we need everybody ready, because the goals are high at this club.”
Tuchel confirmed that Tammy Abraham was due to train on Friday
afternoon and is expected to be fit for Southampton after coming off
with an ankle problem against Newcastle, while Kai Havertz is also back from injury.
But Thiago Silva is still not ready to return from a thigh injury and
Christian Pulisic is likely to miss out with a tight calf.
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