Kepa Arrizabalaga handed Chelsea lifeline as Tuchel outlines plan for stopper

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been handed a start as Chelsea take on Barnsley in the FA Cup with Thomas Tuchel believing the Spaniard can turn around his situation at the Blues.

Kepa has struggled at Stamford Bridge and was replaced by Edouard Mendy in the summer.

That was under Frank Lampard though Tuchel has stuck with the new signing since taking over last month.

But with the FA Cup comes a chance to mix things up with Tuchel giving Kepa an opportunity to impress in the fifth round of the competition.

And having seen Kepa be frozen out by Lampard, Tuchel is confident the former Athletic Bilbao man can turn his fortunes around.

Tuchel said: “From outside, of course we had a view on his situation and some difficulties on the sporting side.

“Maybe, also, the circumstances of his transfer are a little bit on his shoulders. That was the impression from far away, from outside.

“The good thing for him is that we start new, that this is a new start for him because I don’t have a history with him and I hope there will be no difficulties and I don’t see them coming.

Asked if he believes Kepa can turnaround his situation at Chelsea, Tuchel added: “Absolutely. Today, I absolutely believe this.

“It is our job to push the guy to the limit. And we are pretty selfish because we want to have them in the best shape on the pitch.

“Of course, the club want the market value to stay or increase but for me it is pretty selfish, we want the guy in the best shape and we want the best competition in any position.

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  • “From inside, I see a nice guy, a nice personality, an open personality. A hard working guy with, obviously, a lot of quality. He deserves to be here.

    “He’s a sports guy who loves competition, he does everything to impress in training. I want him to play a normal match.

    “He does not have to show me or anybody else that he is ready to be Spain’s number one in the summer.

    "He has just to show his quality. Not more and not less.

    “It is normal that he has higher goals to achieve in his personal ambition, that’s why he is here.”

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