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Cech explains why Mendy started ahead of Kepa in Chelsea’s win over Palmeiras

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Juventus are interested in signing Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea technical director Petr Cech explains the reason to snub Kepa Arrizabalaga for the Club World Cup final 

According to Mirror, Petr Cech explained why Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel opted for Edouard Mendy in the FIFA Club World Cup final instead of the in-form Kepa Arrizabalaga. 

Mendy has been Chelsea’s first choice ‘keeper ever since his move from Rennes under Frank Lampard. His place was temporarily occupied by the Spaniard due to AFCON duties, but the African champion is now back at the Bridge.

The Blues’ second choice keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, didn’t put a foot wrong in his absence. But Mendy reminded the world of his abilities when he helped his team beat Egypt in the final of the AFCON. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga helped Chelsea to win the Club World Cup semi-final.
Kepa Arrizabalaga helped Chelsea to win the Club World Cup semi-final.

The Spaniard, however, played a big part in the Club World Cup semi-final triumph against Al-Hilal. He has been top-notch between the sticks, and with Mendy rejoining the team just two days ago, fans anticipated that the former Athletic Bilbao star would start in the final. 

However, Thomas Tuchel went with Mendy in goal. When asked about the decision in the post-match conference, Petr Cech revealed that having quality players in the squad makes it difficult for the manager when it comes to selecting the starting XI.

“We have top goalkeepers; they both perform on the top level this season. It makes it hard. The same with the other players, 25 member squad but can only field 11 players.”

The right call?

The Chelsea technical director also revealed that Mendy is still the no. 1 keeper, and as he was fit to start, he got the nod ahead of second-choice Kepa. 

Edouard Mendy is the first choice keeper of Chelsea. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Edouard Mendy is the first choice keeper of Chelsea. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“We chose to go with Edou because he’s our number one goalkeeper; he came over here, trained and is fit. I think it’s a hard decision to make, but he’s our number one; he plays.”

Considering the Senegal international star’s form, he would remain Tuchel’s first choice for the time being. But having two good ‘keepers is a luxury not many teams have. And there is a pretty valid reason for it.

It is not a common sight for a bench-warmer to become his national team’s first-choice goalkeeper. But if Kepa is happy with his role at Chelsea, then he is certainly a massive asset to possess.

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As for the call to start Mendy in the final, fans would largely agree that it is important to put the team’s best interest over sentiments. Kepa did well to hold the fort in Mendy’s absence but when the team is pursuing a trophy they have never won before in their history, it is always the wiser option fielding your best players on the pitch.

The decision clearly worked, as Mendy was solid in our 2-1 win over Palmeiras, courtesy of another Kai Havertz winner.

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