Chelsea star Kepa Arrizabalaga rewarded for reclaiming Blues No1 spot with Spain recall after World Cup 2022 snub
KEPA has been rewarded for reclaiming the number one spot at Chelsea with a nod from new Spain boss Luis de la Fuente.
Keeper Kepa has played the last seven games and despite mixed results for the team has shown vast improvement in his performance.
And it has not gone unnoticed at international level with De la Fuente impressed by Kepa’s resurgence at Stamford Bridge.
Spain’s next games come in March with Euro 2024 qualifiers at home to Norway then in Scotland. Kepa is already set to be named in the squad.
Kepa, 28, has not played for Spain since October 2020 and it broke his heart to miss out on the delayed Euro 2020 tournament which was part-hosted by his homeland.
He was not on the best terms with previous Spain coach Luis Enrique.
But there is a much healthier relationship with new man De la Fuente who has let it be known to Kepa’s camp that he is very much in his thoughts.
Both men played for Atletico Bilbao to enhance their bond and Kepa played for De la Fuente in Spain’s Under-21s.
He was also overlooked for last year’s World Cup as he battled to convince a succession of Chelsea managers of his quality.
Edouard Mendy’s arrival saw him drop down the pecking order to the extent that he was axed from last year’s Club World Cup final.
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Kepa played in the semi-final and kept a clean sheet only to be benched when Mendy flew into Abu Dhabi directly from Senegal’s victory at the African Cup of Nations.
Mendy has been injured in recent weeks and underwent surgery on a fractured finger earlier this month, helping Kepa cement his place in goal for the foreseeable future.
Mendy is also facing an uncertain future at Chelsea as contract talks have stalled over wages with the player unhappy at the club’s most recent offer.
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