Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has appeared to try and distance himself from comments surrounding David De Gea’s future in the Spanish national team following La Roja’s performances at the World Cup.
The record signing at Stamford Bridge has been tipped by many to replace De Gea during the current international break due to the Manchester United goalkeeper’s high-profile mistakes during the competition in Russia.
But Kepa insists that the final say will always rest with national team manager Luis Enrique, adding that he has tried to distance himself from the speculation throughout the summer.
“It is a question for the coach,” Kepa told AS. “What I will do is work, although it is clear we all want to play. The coach will decide what is best for the team, and in training, I will try to work hard.”
The 23-year-old goalkeeper was pressed over the criticism that came De Gea’s way following Spain’s exit from the World Cup, where the former champions were knocked out by 2018’s host nation Russia.
“I try to separate myself from that. We wanted to get as far as possible in the World Cup and it did not work out like that,” he added. “With De Gea, we have a goalkeeper who perfectly covers the goal. I do not pay attention to the polls or what people say, I try to isolate myself and focus on myself.”
Kepa also found himself at the centre of media attention during the summer after the youngster completed a £72m move to Stamford Bridge, a transfer which attracted a large number of critics across Europe.
But the former Athletic Club star has been quick to silence his critics under Maurizio Sarri so far this season, with Chelsea currently joint top of the Premier League table, where Kepa has kept two clean sheets in just four games.