Monday, October 18, 2021
Home Game Kepa confident of Chelsea PL title challenge

Kepa confident of Chelsea PL title challenge

By Gary Cotterill, Sky Sports News reporter

Last Updated: 03/07/20 6:38pm

Kepa Arrizabalaga feels Chelsea will be in a position to challenge for the Premier League title

Kepa Arrizabalaga feels Chelsea will be in a position to challenge for the Premier League title

Kepa Arrizabalaga feels Chelsea will be in a position to challenge for the Premier League title

Kepa Arrizabalaga is backing Chelsea to challenge for the Premier League title in the near future.

Before defeat at West Ham on Wednesday, Chelsea had won their last five games in all competitions – a run that has seen Frank Lampard nominated as Premier League manager of the month.

Their impressive form, style of play and activity in the transfer market already this summer, has led to some, including Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson and former Chelsea player Shaun Wright-Phillips, tipping them as title contenders.

“Let’s hope we are talking in a year’s time and that we are candidates to challenge those two teams (Liverpool and Manchester City),” the goalkeeper tells Sky Sports News.

“We have a great squad and we have a great manager. We can’t deny the gap, in points, between us and the top two, but I’m confident we can close that gap next season.

“We know we need to improve, but it is a hope we all have. There’s a confidence that it is possible.”

Speculation has been growing on the long-term future of Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea Speculation has been growing on the long-term future of Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea

Speculation has been growing on the long-term future of Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea

That run of successive wins coincided with Arrizabalaga’s return to the starting line-up.

A dip in form had seen the world’s most expensive goalkeeper replaced throughout January and February by Willy Caballero.

Chelsea vs Watford

July 4, 2020, 7:45pm

Live on

The 25-year-old, however, took it in his stride.

“The manager is there to choose what he considers the best XI,” he says.

“Whenever you are left out of the side, you take it in the spirit it is intended. You put it down to experience, a fresh experience in your life, and you just keep working hard.

Striker Timo Werner (pictured) has already joined Chelsea this summer, along with attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech Striker Timo Werner (pictured) has already joined Chelsea this summer, along with attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech

Striker Timo Werner (pictured) has already joined Chelsea this summer, along with attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech

“I’m ambitious and I’ve always had the attitude that through hard work and training hard you are ready for the next challenge.”

Arrizabalaga continues to be linked with a move away from west London. Chelsea, rightly or wrongly, continue to be linked with replacement goalkeepers.

But the Spaniard doesn’t talk like a man with an eye on a future elsewhere.

“I’m young, I’m lucky enough to be playing for a fantastic club,” he says.

“I’m part of the national set up with Spain as well. The team (Chelsea) have been having a good feeling about ourselves.

“There’s a good spirit about how we’ve been playing. And individually I feel good. I want to help the team achieve its targets.”

Arrizabalaga is predicting an immediate bounce back to form after that bad night at the London Stadium.

Andriy Yarmolenko scored late to condemn Chelsea to a 3-2 defeat at West Ham Andriy Yarmolenko scored late to condemn Chelsea to a 3-2 defeat at West Ham

Andriy Yarmolenko scored late to condemn Chelsea to a 3-2 defeat at West Ham

“We feel strong mentally and very fit physically, and we hope for an end of season that is great, positive and can be celebrated,” he says.

Arrizabalaga had enjoyed two clean sheets in a row before football was put on hold, against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League.

He decided to stay in London during lockdown, but didn’t get homesick. Another hint that he’s happy at Chelsea.

“We were one of the first teams because [Callum Hudson-Odoi] had a positive test. It all happened very suddenly. I didn’t want to put members of my family at risk by travelling,” he says.

So, away from loved ones, how did he keep occupied?

“I just took things step by step. I paid close attention to the news. I saw it as an opportunity to do stuff I never normally have time for. Tidying the house and doing some cooking,” he adds.

Domestic duties done, Arrizabalaga is now targeting domestic trophies.

Super 6: Three on the spin for Man Utd

Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for a sixth time this season on Saturday. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Leave your vote

Comments

0 comments

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

‘Bills Mafia speak our language’: Daniel Ricciardo on Josh Allen, Tom Brady and his surprising NFL allegiance

https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/32400577/bills-mafia-speak-our-language-aussie-f1-star-daniel-ricciardo-josh-allen-tom-brady-surprising-nfl-allegiance

What’s next for each team in the AP Top 25?

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/32395192/ap-top-25-college-football-poll-reaction-next-ranked-team

MLB clubs to give minor league players housing

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/32419545/major-league-baseball-require-teams-provide-housing-minor-league-players-starting-2022-sources-say

Giants’ Williams bothered by boos in loss to Rams

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/32419502/leonard-williams-knows-new-york-giants-fans-right-upset-another-home-loss

Comments

0 comments

close

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.