Kepa Arrizabala insists he is ‘very happy’ at Chelsea despite losing his status as number one goalkeeper to Edouard Mendy.
Kepa became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when signing for the west London side in a £71.6m deal from Athletic Bilbao, though has endured an indifferent time during his three seasons in the Premier League to date.
The 26-year-old made just seven league appearances last season following the summer arrival of Mendy from Rennes, though Kepa insists he feels content at Stamford Bridge despite his reduced role.
“Right now, I feel really good at Chelsea, both physically and mentally,” he told the Players Tribune. “I’m happy and I believe I’m a better goalkeeper than I was two years ago.
“Of course I would like to play more minutes. I would be lying if I said that I was completely happy with my situation. But I also respect the coach’s decisions. I understand that there are other players who are doing well. The team is doing great, too, and in the end that is the most important thing.
“If we had not put the team first, there is no way we could have won that final against City.
“I always try to help the team in whatever role that I have. Since I was little, my father instilled in me the idea that when you do what you like, hard work is not only the best way to achieve your goals, but also a satisfaction in itself. These last few weeks I have thought a lot about this, and how, every time I have found myself in a difficult situation, the solution has been the same: to focus on my work. There are players who do not like to train. I love it. It’s something that coaches value and that makes me feel good about myself. Even if I don’t get one more minute on the pitch, training well makes me feel better. It makes me feel at peace.
“I’m starting this new season full of enthusiasm and ready to continue doing what I like the most. I know that if I work hard in every session, and support the team in any way I can, then the results will follow. They always do.
“Nobody knows what will happen in the future. But today I am very happy in London, and I hope that in the coming years I can celebrate many more titles with my team, Chelsea Football Club.
“Above all, I hope that people will get to know me — really know me — as a guy who has done all he can to help his teammates. Because that, really, is why I’m here. ”
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