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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel spoke about Edouard Mendy’s position following the club’s 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United last night.
Tuchel has made some surprising tactical decisions since joining the club last month and several fringe players have been offered a chance to re-establish themselves.
Kepa Arrizabalaga performed well in the 1-0 FA Cup fifth round tie against Barnsley and surprisingly kept his place ahead of Mendy at St James’ Park.
The Spaniard felt comfortable between the sticks as he kept another clean sheet, but after the match, Tuchel clarified that Mendy is still the number one goalkeeper.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Tuchel emphasized that Mendy needed to recover physically and mentally and that was the only reason why Kepa started ahead of him.
He added to ensure that Mendy will return in goal when the Blues make the trip to the South Coast for this weekend’s league clash against Southampton.
“Edou is number one, this is clear. It was clear before the game and it stays that way, ”he told Sky Sports. cited by Goal.
“I am happy that Kepa continues with a second clean sheet. It was time to let him feel the rhythm and build his confidence.
“Before it was clear that we expected the best performance, but Edou will be in goal from now on, as he recovered physically and mentally and right now, he is number one.”
Sports lens view:
The day before yesterday, Mendy had missed just one league game for the Blues since arriving from Rennes last summer and that was due to an injury on international service.
In his 19 games, he has kept a clean sheet 10 times for the west side of London and let in just 15 goals in the process.
Thus, he has established himself as the first choice ahead of Kepa, who has been guilty of making mistakes in the past that have cost him valuable points.
The Blues returned to the top four with the victory over the Magpies. They have regained a place in the Champions League for the first time since the beginning of December.
Timo Werner was the featured artist at St James’ Park last night and some Blues fans were impressed with his performance.