Kepa insists taking over No 1 shirt as Mendy will jets off in coming weeks
Kepa Arrizabalaga has insisted he ‘will be ready’ for Chelsea in January when Edouard Mendy is likely to be away at the Africa Cup of Nations following more shoot-out heroics on Tuesday.
The Spaniard got the faintest of touches to save Theo Walcott’s penalty
While Will Smallbone blazed over for Southampton to give the Blues a 4-3 spot-kick victory in the Carabao Cup last-16 tie.
It was a similar story in the previous round against Aston Villa
However, Thomas Tuchel’s side are into the quarter-finals of the competition
For the first time since they lost the 2019 final to Manchester City.
Kepa made only his fourth appearance of the campaign in the win over Southampton
But it was the third time he had helped the club to penalty shoot-out success this season
He could be more regularly called upon in January when first-choice
Mendy is set to be away for up to four weeks with Senegal at the AFCON.
But the £72million goalkeeper insisted: ‘Well, it’s two months away. Of course we know it can happen and I will be ready but we have a lot of games until we start thinking about that.
‘Let’s go step by step and we’ll see what happens. If he goes to the African Cup, all the best and I’ll be ready. But it’s still a long way to arrive at that point.’