Edouard Mendy is still Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper, says Thomas Tuchel after picking Kepa Arrizabalaga against Newcastle United
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Edouard Mendy remains Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper despite picking Kepa Arrizabalaga against Newcastle United on Monday night. Kepa has endured a horrid time at Stamford Bridge since he joined Chelsea in 2018 in a deal costing more than £70million.
The Spain international lost his place in the team to summer signing Edouard Mendy under Frank Lampard, but has seemingly been offered a lifeline by new manager Tuchel with two successive starts. Kepa started Chelsea’s FA Cup win over Barnsley on Thursday and Premier League victory over Newcastle on Monday – keeping clean sheets in both fixtures – but Tuchel says Mendy remains his No 1.
The Blues boss said: ‘Edouard is the number one and that is clear, it stays like this. ‘I am very happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet and it was the right moment to let him feel the rhythm and build his confidence.
‘We hoped for the very best performance and Edu will be in from now on because he is the number one.’ On Chelsea’s routine victory over Newcastle, Tuchel added: ‘It was a very good night, the perfect evening. ‘We knew we had he opportunity to jump into the top four. We took this chance, the guys get a well deserved two days off now.
‘Second half was not our best, we struggled with decision making, confidence and technical mistakes. But we always accept the fight. ‘I got the impression we don’t wan to lose what we built in the first half, I prefer us to think about what we can create.’ First-half goals from Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner saw Chelsea past Newcastle on Monday as Tuchel’s side climbed to fourth in the Premier League.