Gary Neville reveals what will happen to Kepa after back to back clean sheets against Barnsley and Newcastle

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel made a huge call to hand a starting role to Kepa Arrizabalaga for the game against Newcastle on Monday night.

The £72m signing has been restricted to Cup appearances since the signing of £22m goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Interestingly, Kepa did nothing wrong against the Magpies as he kept a clean sheet in consecutive games, even though he was barely tested against Newcastle.

Kepa made a huge save in the FA Cup clash against Barnsley, as Chelsea sealed qualification to the quarterfinal. The Spaniard was rewarded with his first start in the Premier League since September, and he impressed, although he was barely tested.

Analysing Tuchel’s decision before kick off against Newcastle, Gary Neville admitted that it was a big call, but he still expects Mendy to remain as number one.

“I think it’s a big [call]. I thought we had seen the last of him [Kepa] at Chelsea,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I think since Thomas Tuchel has come in he has restricted the number of shots at Chelsea’s goal and he will need to do that with Kepa in goal based on his form in previous games.

“When top managers come in they believe they can improve players so maybe he thinks he can get a tune out of Kepa.

“I have to say that he looked well short of what a top goalkeeper would be the last time we saw him. I thought he would be replaced and gone forever.

“The club will probably be saying they want him [Tuchel] to get the best out of players they’ve paid a fortune for, that might have been part of the brief.

“Secondly, he probably wants to give everyone a chance. The third bit is maybe the arrogance of a top manager thinking they can improve everybody by working with them.

“I’ll be surprised if we see Kepa turn around his fortunes at that club because he looked nothing like how a goalkeeper should be which is dominant. He’s just not that.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.