Thomas Tuchel has hailed Kepa Arrizabalaga’s displays and work on the training field after regaining his place in the first team, but says all three of his keepers remain in his plans.
Kepa had fallen out of contention under Frank Lampard, which led to the signing of Edouard Mendy in September.
Mendy has impressed since arriving in the Premier League, but since the arrival of Tuchel, he has lost his place to Kepa.
The Spanish stopper has kept back-to-back clean sheets since his return to the team and the German coach is impressed with his attitude and performances.
‘I encouraged him to see it as another opportunity and to take it as a fresh start and to see the possibilities for him in it and this is what he did,’ Tuchel told a press conference on Friday.
‘So he earned his right to play, he earned his right to play another game. He kept two clean sheets and this is the best a goalkeepers can have for his confidence.
‘Of course we see that because everybody like Kepa loves to play, loves to have clean sheets.’
It now looks like Kepa is set to enjoy a run in the team after his return to the team in wins over Barnsley and Newcastle.
However, Tuchel says both Mendy and Wily Caballero are still important parts of the squad and remain in contention.
‘It’s important for us that the group of goalkeepers is strong together, this is what I feel from them, all three, there’s a strong bond, even if they are competitors to each other,’ Tuchel continued.
‘They also have to be a team within a team and I feel that. We need all of them ready because games are coming now on the highest level every three or four days and we need everybody to be in shape.’
‘We need a strong Kepa in our squad,’ said the manager. ‘He had a good game in the cup so we decided to give him another match to build up a little bit of rhythm and confidence and to trust him because he did very good.
‘At the same time it give Edouard the chance to recover, to mentally recover. It’s a demanding position so with one decision we have both advantages.’