Tuchel urges Chelsea outcast to be ‘normal’ in ‘new start’

Thomas Tuchel has urged Kepa Arrizabalaga to “play a normal match” as the German boss promises the Spaniard a “new start” at Chelsea.

Kepa became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea from Atletic Bilbao for £72million two years ago.

But a string of mistakes last season saw him lose his place in the starting lineup and led the Blues to sign Edouard Mendy for £22million in September.

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Kepa has started both of Chelsea’s FA Cup games this season and Tuchel confirmed the 26-year-old would again be in net for the fifth-round clash at Barnsley on Thursday.

And he’s urged Kepa to put is struggles behind him in a fresh start.

“We had a view on his situation and some difficulties on the sporting side,” Tuchel said.

“Maybe, also, the circumstances of his transfer are a little bit on his shoulders. The good thing for him is that this is a new start for him because I don’t have a history with him.

“It is a special position. If you do make mistakes, everybody sees it and talks about it so you need a lot of mental strength and quality. I see this in all of the three goalkeepers. I absolutely believe [Kepa can turn it around].

“This is an opportunity [against Barnsley] and hopefully he does not want to overachieve. I want him to play a normal match. He does not have to show me or anybody else that he is ready to be Spain’s number one.”

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