Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is yet to determine whether Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga would start in Wednesday’s Premier League game against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa refused to be substituted in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup loss to Manchester City on Sunday but apologized to Sarri, the technical staff, teammates and supporters on Monday for his actions.
Chelsea fined the 24-year-old a week’s wages, around £190,000, for an act of petulance which had very publicly undermined Sarri’s authority over the team.
Ahead of the game against Tottenham, Sarri revealed he will make a decision for the collective good of the team.
Asked whether Kepa would start, Sarri said: “I don’t know. I have to decide.
“Maybe yes. Maybe no. I think he is fit. Yesterday he had only a recovery training session, so we have to assess him today, but I think so.
“It will be a decision for the [good of the] group. For the other players, all the players. I have to decide for my group. Not with my group. But I want to send a message to my group: the message could be Kepa is on the pitch, or Kepa is out [of] the pitch. I have to decide what is better for my group.
“He has to [be ready to feature if required]. He made a mistake. A big mistake. There are some consequences. If the consequence is to play, he has to be ready to play. If the consequence is the bench, he has to be ready to go to the bench.”
When asked if his relationship with the players is now undermined following Kepa’s substitute snub, Sarri added: “No, not at all. After yesterday, for me the situation is finished. He is a young player and made a mistake, but stop. If I am sure that he understood that he made a really very big mistake, for me it’s finished.”
Asked if Cesar Azpilicueta should have gone over as captain and asked Kepa to leave the pitch, Sarri said: “The captain spoke to me immediately after the match. Then he spoke with Kepa. Yesterday we spoke all together. The situation is really very clear in the dressing-room.”