Chelsea coach, Thomas Tuchel, has acknowledged that Kepa Arrizabalaga would be disappointed after the goalkeeper was snubbed by Spain ahead of this month’s international break.
Kepa, who is presently behind Edouard Mendy in Chelsea’s choice of goalkeepers at Stamford Bridge, was not invited by Spain coach, Luis Enrique, for their World Cup qualifiers against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo later this month.
The 26-year-old shot-stopper has been frequently called up despite usually playing second fiddle to Manchester United’s David De Gea, but this time he has missed out.
Reacting to the development ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League round of 16 second-leg tie against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, Tuchel said that Kepa is ‘reliable’.
“I am pretty sure for Kepa that it is a disappointment not to be selected right now, but he is our player, and it doesn’t influence how we work with him, how we trust him and how we keep on going,” Tuchel told a pre-match press conference.
“Would it be easier if he plays regularly? Clearly, yes, but it is not about personal objectives. It is about Chelsea. Edou [Mendy] is the number one, and he [Kepa] is the competitor for that, so he has to be ready, and I can only say he’s doing exactly that.
“He is 100 percent reliable, a top guy, a top goalkeeper with top performances in training together with Willy Caballero.
“Can we influence the decision of the Spanish national coach? No, we cannot. Everything he can do is focus and be ready. This is what he’s doing, and it’s why I am super happy with him.”