Despite starting off the season on a wrong foot, which saw him fall from the pecking order in between the sticks, Kepa Arizzabalaga claims he had ‘never thought about leaving Chelsea’ and had no problem with Frank Lampard.
The Chelsea legend was issued a marching order last month, after a year and half spell at the west London club, with reports at the period suggesting the Spanish goalkeeper, along with few other players pushed for Lampard’s exit.
However, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, denied reports of a perceived fall out with his former boss, while also admitting his performance nosedived after Chelsea Europa League triumph two seasons ago.
Kepa’s continuous error in goal led to Edouard Mendy being drafted in as the new No 1, as questions about his future began to surface.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper, who signed for Chelsea from Atletico Bilbao in a deal worth of £71 million 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.”
Kepa was handed his first start in the Premier League since October by Thomas Tuchel in a 2-0 victory over Newcastle, having also started in an FA Cup win at Barnsley prior to Magpies clash.
Kepa is now up to nine outings for the season and hopes there will be more to come as Chelsea travel to Southampton to square off against the Saints on Saturday.
He has added on his battle for game time: “I have no problem with it [but] I want to turn it around. Start playing a bit. I want to be here, feel better and look to the future.
“I’m not getting carried away [with the back-to-back starts] but they felt good after inactivity. I hope soon I can play more.