EPL

Kepa: De Gea rivalry is healthy for Spain

By Sports Desk October 11, 2019

Kepa Arrizabalaga feels his battle with David de Gea to be first-choice goalkeeper can only be a good thing for Spain.

Chelsea keeper Kepa has started four of the national team's last five matches, with De Gea returning to the XI for the 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands last month.

De Gea endured a poor World Cup after a disappointing club campaign with Manchester United, but national team boss Robert Moreno recently stated he does not have an undisputed number one.

Spain take on Norway in Oslo on Saturday and Kepa is keen to earn a recall to the starting line-up.

"My goal is to play," he said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "All players want to be in the starting XI. I am obviously confident and want to help the team. 

"If I am one of the eleven chosen, my goal is to win a match that will not be easy against Norway.

"I feel good and I'm confident. It is true that I barely participated at the World Cup and now I'm able to help the team more."

Both players have staked a claim to start regularly and Kepa says rotation is to be expected.

"Whenever there is a debate over a position for the national team, it is a good thing - the beneficiary is the team," he said.

"Since the policy of rotating in the goal has become common, you have to trust yourself.

"All these comments in the press, I don't get involved in that, we simply have to do our talking on the pitch."

Kepa left Spanish side Athletic Bilbao for Chelsea in August 2018, in the process becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in world football.

The 25-year-old believes he has developed during his time in the Premier League and hopes to continue improving his game at Stamford Bridge. 

"I have matured as a person and as a goalkeeper," he said. "I have become accustomed to playing in a different way. 

"I'm now seeing more physical opponents, also of great quality, and I keep developing because I'm young."

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