Neville shocked by ‘big’ decision from Tuchel to recall Kepa

Date published: Monday 15th February 2021 9:05


Gary Neville thought that he had “seen the last” of Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea prior to his recall to the starting eleven against Newcastle.

Arrizabalaga joined the Blues in 2018 for around £71m from Atletico Bilbao. This deal made him the world’s most expensive ever goalkeeper just weeks after Liverpool splashed out for Alisson.

The 26-year-old has been on the receiving end of constant criticism during his time in England with him struggling to live up to his price-tag.

READ MORE: Premier League winners and, well, Jose Mourinho

Arrizabalaga was seemingly replaced as number one last summer as Frank Lampard brought in Edouard Mendy. The Frenchman joined from Rennes for around £22m.

The Spaniard has only played seven times this season, with his last Premier League appearance coming in October against Southampton.

But he was handed a start by Thomas Tuchel on Monday night against Newcastle. Speaking on Monday Night Football, as cited by The Sun, Neville said Tuchel will be hoping to “get a tune out of Kepa”:

“I think it’s big, I thought we’d seen the last of him.

“I think Thomas Tuchel, since he’s come in, has restricted the shots on goal. He will need to do that with Kepa if you see his form in previous games.

“But managers when they come in, particularly top managers, they believe they can improve players. So maybe he thinks he can get a tune out of Kepa.

“I have to say that he looked well short of what a top goalkeeper would be last time we saw him.

“I thought he would be replaced and gone forever.”

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