Despite reports that he was angling for a move away from Chelsea last summer, Kepa Arrizabalaga has stated that it never crossed his mind to leave Stamford Bridge.
The Spain international lost his place in the Chelsea line-up as former manager Frank Lampard made Edouard Mendy his No1 choice between the sticks after his move from Rennes.
Kepa has insisted that he never had any issue with Lampard over his decisions, accepting that his performances over the last year for Chelsea have been well below the standard expected.
However, despite the efforts to replace and move on Kepa, who was handed a start and kept a clean sheet against Newcastle on Monday, the Spaniard has not considered leaving himself.
Kepa told Tiempo de Juego: “I have never thought about leaving Chelsea.
“In my very good [first] season we won the Europa League, qualified for the Champions League, and I was playing for the national team. The second year we changed coaches.
“With Lampard there had been no problem. I haven’t given my best version [and] it is true that I have not played how I wanted to play.”
While Kepa was given his chance in the win against Newcastle this week, Mendy will be back in goal when the Blues visit Southampton in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Asked about his No1 following the win on Monday, Tuchel said: “Edou is the No1. This is clear and was before the game. It stays like this. I’m very happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet. It was the moment to let him feel the rhythm and build up his confidence. Edou will be in goal from now on. He recovered mentally and physically.”