kepa

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is ready to challenge David de Gea to become Spain’s regular number 1 goalie.

Kepa has made just 1 appearance for Spain in a friendly win over Costa Rica last November.

He was called up for the Russia 2018 World Cup and was also named in Luis Enrique’s squad for this month’s UEFA Nations League.

Man United goalkeeper David De Gea played all 4 games for Spain in the Russia 2018 World Cup but was criticised for his performances in the tournament.

Meanwhile, a recent poll by Marca showed that a good number of fans prefer Kepa Arrizabalaga as Spain’s number one for the next game.

Although Kepa admits that he doesn’t take such surveys seriously, he’s prepared to compete for the number 1 spot with De Gea.

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“Being in the squad is already a reason for joy. We all want to be here and we all want to play; I work for that,” he told AS.

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“We’ll meet the coaching staff in the first few days and get ourselves going, because we have two big games ahead.

“It’s a question for the coach. What I will do is work, although obviously we all want to play.

“The coach will decide the best thing for the team, but in the training sessions I’ll try to put in the effort, for the good of the group most of all.

“All players work to compete and to play. The coach decides and we accept whatever it is, always with good harmony.

“De Gea is a great goalkeeper and the goal is perfectly covered with him. The World Cup was how it was, we came back too early, but I don’t pay attention to polls or what people say. I try to isolate myself and focus on myself.”

Kepa became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in a £72 million deal in August.

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He added that the move to Chelsea was a gamble whilst insisting that his price tag has not added any extra pressure on him.

“It’s the price it is because the market is like that, too,” he said.

“Higher and higher fees are being paid and I see it as a consequence of the market.

“I’m getting used to my new life: a new city, new team… but it’s been positive because when things start well on the pitch, it makes everything easier.

“I have felt valued. In the last few years, a lot of Spaniards have done important things here and that’s good for those of us to arrive most recently”

“This is a great club, who in recent years have won the Champions League, Europa League, the Premier League… it’s a team with great players”

“It was an important gamble and I’m happy to take this step. I want to enjoy it.”

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