The possible transfer of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has made Chelsea prepared for a surge of upcoming bids this summer. The club knows that many European clubs got their eye on the athlete and even they couldn’t do anything if a better offer will be presented.
Second only to Mendy
The representative of Spain had a difficult time in the truc tiep bong da club ever since he joined in 2018 from Athletic Bilbao for a £71.6 million transfer fee. However, despite the continuous improvement of his performances, it seemed that it was never enough to be Thomas Tuchel’s first choice for main goalkeeper and the job is still being given to Edouard Mendy.
Coach Tuchel has been thinking about whether he will include Mendy on his First XI in the finals of the Club World Cup on Saturday against Palmeiras. On the other hand, Arrizabalaga overcame Al-Hilal on Wednesday and produced an incredible display of skills, but he could still need a new challenge at the end of the campaign.
The technical skills and form of Arrizabalaga has enhanced ever since Tuchel took over Chelsea from the infamous Frank Lampard last year. According to Tuchel and the others at Chelsea, the 27-year old goalkeeper was the first choice for a summer transfer of some Spanish clubs.
Italian side Lazio has expressed interest in the athlete as well as Athletic Bilbao who are interested in welcoming back their ex-goalkeeper.
A powerful goalkeeper
The Spanish player has produced incredible performances in the past especially this season when he was given a chance. Although, Chelsea had already come into terms that the player will not come back as their second choice goalkeeper if a club signs him in the summer.
Chelsea will not hesitate to let him go if Lazio, Athletic Bilbao, or any European club would want to sign the stopper. It has been proven that he had a hard time in Lampard’s management, and his asking price was too expensive which means that the chances of any club signing him would be low.
Chelsea also knew that not letting an expensive goalkeeper play is a huge waste of funds and it would be such a shame if he was not given a chance to play at the Palmeiras match.
Luckily, Arrizabalaga has improved his play under the guidance of Tuchel. It has resulted in good performances while Mendy was at the Africa Cup of Nations playing for Senegal.
Also, the player helped the club progress to the finals of the Carabao Cup last January in their battle against Tottenham Hotspur. During the second half of the game against Al-Hilal, he also made a lot of saves for the team which makes him a pro at saving penalties.
He also helped in the win of Chelsea this season, when he won three shootouts and blocked Ryan Hardie from scoring for Plymouth at the FA Cup last week.
Last call to make an impression
Even though Arrizabalaga was considered by many Spanish clubs as the best in Spain overcoming David de Gea or Unai Simon, Tuchel could still drop him in the Palmeiras match.
Ever since leaving Rennes in 2020, Mendy has been one of the best goalkeepers in Europe when he joined Chelsea and recently hailed as the best player in AFCON for champions Senegal.
Ever since the Club World Cup was established, Chelsea has never won the competition. If Arrizabalaga is still left out at the Palmeiras match, his last opportunity to make an impression is at the finals of the Carabao Cup on February 27 against Liverpool.
As of now, Chelsea is dealing with uncertainty on the strength of their defense, as the contracts of Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta will expire soon.
Chelsea must now rely their hopes on Antonio Rudiger who is also being eyed upon by PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.