Kepa 'absolutely ready' to play for Chelsea amid Mendy's error-strewn start to the season, says Tuchel

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Thomas Tuchel says that Kepa Arrizabalaga is "absolutely ready to play" for Chelsea amid Edouard Mendy's error-strewn start to the season.
  • Kepa wanted to leave in the summer
  • Tuchel ready to hand him minutes
  • Mendy's erratic form continues

WHAT HAPPENED? Mendy has come in for criticism as Chelsea have conceded nine goals in six matches in the Premier League, losing twice and drawing once alongside just three victories. The Senegalese goalkeeper was largely at fault in the 3-0 defeat to Leeds United and was again guilty of conceding the first goal against West Ham over the weekend, albeit with the Blues eventually earning a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

WHAT HE SAID: Tuchel has confirmed that No.2 keeper Kepa pushed for a summer transfer but could now be in line for minutes as Mendy continues to struggle for form.

“Yeah, he tried [to leave]," said the Chelsea boss. "He tried, he checked his options, which we were aware of. They were not satisfying for him, for us. So he stayed. I’m very happy about that. I was always very clear, directly to him that I’d love him to stay. And in my point of view, he's absolutely ready to play."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Spaniard has remained largely out of favour since Tuchel took over as Chelsea manager. He lost his place in the starting lineup to Mendy and had appeared in only 15 matches for the Blues in the 2021/22 season in all competitions.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

Kepa Edouard Mendy Chelsea vs Liverpool Carabao Cup final 2021-22

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea Southampton 2022-23

Edouard Mendy Chelsea 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Tuchel's men next take on Dinamo Zagreb in their UEFA Champions League opener on Tuesday away from home, but it remains to be seen whether Kepa will replace Mendy between the sticks.

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