Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga ‘not proud’ of refusing to be substituted by Maurizio Sarri in 2019 Carabao Cup final

6 Sep

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has admitted he is ‘not proud’ of defying former boss Maurizio Sarri’s orders when he infamously refused to be substituted against Manchester City in last season’s Carabao Cup final.

The 24-year-old waved away Sarri’s orders when the Italian tried to introduce Willy Caballero in the dying moments of extra-time – a game the Blues lost on penalties.

Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted against Manchester City in last season’s Carabao Cup final

Speaking about the incident to El Larguero on Spanish network Cadena SER, Kepa again expressed his regret over his actions that day – which he said happened in the heat of the moment.

“I’m not proud of what happened. I lived in a storm that week,” he said.

“It was a situation that I hadn’t lived and that came to me in a flash. Everything went very fast, with many keystrokes.

“I apologised, he explained to me what he had felt. Internally, it was finished the next day.

“It was an unpleasant situation, but we left in a good way and from there we made a great end of the season.”

Kepa, who was fined a week’s wages for the incident, is currently away on international duty with Spain who face Romania and the Faroe Islands in the coming days.

Cristiano Ronaldo questions huge transfer fees for unproven players as Manchester United spend £80m on Maguire

22 Aug

Cristiano Ronaldo says he disagrees with the excessive transfer fees spent on defenders and goalkeepers.

Manchester United paid Leicester £80million to make Harry Maguire the world’s most expensive defender, while Matthijs de Ligt joined Juventus in a £67.5million deal from Ajax during the summer transfer window.

Harry Maguire has made a promising start to his Manchester United career
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Last summer, Liverpool signed Alisson for £67million and Chelsea brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga for a goalkeeper world-record £71million fee, while in January 2018 the Reds spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk.

Juventus star Ronaldo told Portuguese broadcaster TV1: “It’s difficult to make calculations in modern football.

“Clubs gamble a lot on potential and the football industry is different.

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“Leaving the case of Joao Felix (who joined Atletico Madrid for £113million) to the side, any player can go for €100million, even without showing anything.

“There is more money in football. A centre-back and a goalkeeper can go for €70million or €80million.

“I don’t agree (with it) but it’s the world that we live in and you have to respect it.”

Cristiano Ronaldo will be team-mates with Matthijs de Ligt this season
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Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid for £80m in 2009 and Juventus for £99m in 2018, also teased a potential retirement from football.

However, the 35-year-old has three years left on his Juventus deal, and admitted he could play until he was 41.

When asked about hanging up his boots, he said: “I don’t think about that.

“Maybe I can finish my career next year, but I can also play up to 40 or 41.

“I don’t know. What I always say is to enjoy the moment. The gift is excellent and I have to continue to enjoy it.”

Chelsea team news: Predicted XI to face Barcelona – debuts for Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong?

22 Jul

Preparations are currently underway for Chelsea to face Barcelona in the Rakuten Cup on Tuesday morning.

The Blues will take on the Spanish champions at the Saitama Stadium in the hope they can improve on their last pre-season showing.

Frank Lampard’s side suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to little-known Kawasaki Frontale in their previous fixture, having beaten Irish side St Patrick’s and drawn with Bohemians.

The Frank Lampard era at Chelsea is well and truly underway
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The former England international knows exactly what the Blaugrana are all about, having been a part of several memorable fIxtures between the sides – captaining the side for the the Champions League semi-final in 2011

“Barcelona are a team that I have some great memories of playing against, some good and some bad,” he told the club’s official website.

“I have always had a huge respect for them because when you play against Barcelona you know you are playing against, they say, more than a club, and I agree with that.

“We are very proud to be here to play this match.”

Lampard knows all about facing Barcelona
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Team News

Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong are set to make their debuts for Barcelona, but Ernesto Valverde is set to be without a number of star names.

Following their exploits at the Copa America, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi have been given extended leave, as has Liverpool target Philippe Coutinho.

For Chelsea, both Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could be back after missing the defeat to Kawasaki Frontale through illness.

Barcelona’s new football players Frenkie de Jong, Hiroki Abe, Neto and Antoine Griezmann pose with Japanese Rakuten company President and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani and Barcelona’s head coach Ernesto Valverde
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Midfielder N’Golo Kante has returned to the UK to undergo further rehab for a knee injury sustained towards the end of last season. The France international has not played a part in Chelsea’s pre-season thus far.

Chelsea are also without long-term absentees ​Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, ​Willian and ​Antonio Rudiger as they continue their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.

Predicted Chelsea team

Here’s how the Blues could line up at the Saitama Stadium
Buildlineup.com

Although Christian Pulisic got his first minutes in a Chelsea shirt last time out, expect to see the experienced Pedro start initially against his former side.

Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen are both likely to be vying for a starting berth alongside David Luiz next season, with Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta first choice full-backs.

Mason Mount and Ross Barkley have arguably been the stand-out performers for the Blues so far, Tiemoue Bakayoko is enjoying a strong return to form as well.

Premier League fantasy football tips: Five bargain goalkeepers you should sign for your Dream Team

18 Jul

Premier League football is back and so is Dream Team fantasy football.

Sign up here if you want to beat your mates, or win some of the £100,000 prize pot.

If you’re going to play you need to have a top defence, as well as a talented attack and no position is more important than that of the goalkeeper.

You only get one, so you don’t want to waste any of your three transfers per month on your shot-stopper.

If you’re going to win big, you need a reliable performer capable of earning the odd Star Man award and regular 7/10 displays on WhoScored to gain vital points.

But managers will also not want to spend too much money so they can spend their £50million budget elsewhere.

So, who are the best bargain goalkeeper in Dream Team? talkSPORT.com have taken a look.

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) – £3.5m

If you’re spending bigger bucks on a goalkeeper, the Blues ace is your man.

The only reason £4.0m option Hugo Lloris scored more points than him last year was the Frenchman’s run of penalty saves, meanwhile Frank Lampard’s backline should be stronger with N’Golo Kante likely to play towards his more natural position this term.

Kepa is likely to remain as Chelsea’s no.1 for years to come
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Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – £2.5m

No, we’re not having a moment.

The ex-Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper isn’t a bad player at all and with more work and possible upgrades this summer we should see an improved defensive output from the Gunners.

Leno will certainly get more points than last season.

Leno has become Arsenal’s no.1 following his arrival last summer
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Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United) – £2.5m

Only one shot-stopper averaged over 7/10 on WhoScored.com, and that was Polish ace Fabianski.

He might not get heaps of clean sheets, although this could improve with additions to the Hammers, squad but he’s a steady point-scorer.

Fabianski has been a revelation at the London Stadium
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Ralf Fahrmann (Norwich City) – £1.0m

Landing a goalkeeper on loan with eight Bundesliga seasons under their belt is impressive for a newly-promoted side.

Sure, he was displaced at Schalke last season by talented youngster Alexander Nübel but he should be a fine performer at a cheap price.

Fahrmann looks set to be no.1 for Norwich
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Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) – £1.5m

After signing a new contract, Henderson returned to Bramall Lane and we expect him to start.

He’s a fine young talent and one Manchester United really don’t want to lose.

Dean Henderson was in excellent form for Sheffield United last season
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You can sign up here for Dream Team Fantasy Football

Top 26 highest paid players in the Premier League as Marcus Rashford signs new £250,000 contract at Manchester United

1 Jul

Marcus Rashford has put pen to paper on a lucrative new contract at Manchester United.

The England striker has developed into an important player for club and country since making his senior debut three years ago under Louis van Gaal.

Marcus Rashford is set to sign a lucrative new deal at Manchester United
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Reports from Catalonia even suggested Barcelona were considering the 21-year-old as the long-term successor to Luis Suarez at Camp Nou.

But Rashford sees his future at Old Trafford and has signed a new deal worth up to £300,000-a-week.

Initially, the deal is worth £250,000-a-week. But, provided various performance-related clauses are met, this figure is expected to rise.

This means the striker could earn between £12-15million per year, making him one of the best-paid players in the Premier League.

But Rashford ‘s new deal would mean he is not even the biggest earner in Manchester.

Thanks to Spotrac, we have able to work out the highest-paid Premier League players over a yearly basis.

While the results are perhaps not surprising given the players and clubs involved, the figures truly are.

Find out where Rashford now ranks below.

21= Javier Hernandez (West Ham United)

£7,280,000 per year
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21= Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)

£7,280,000 per year
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21= Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

£7,280,000 per year
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21= James Milner (Liverpool)

£7,280,000 per year
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21= Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

£7,280,000 per year
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21= Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

£7,280,000 per year
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16= Fernandinho (Manchester City)

£7,800,000 per year
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16= Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

£7,800,000 per year
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16= N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

£7,800,000 per year
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16= Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)

£7,800,000 per year
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16= Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal)

£7,800,000 per year
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15. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

£8,190,000 per year
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14. David Silva (Manchester City)

£8,320,000 per year
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13. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

£8,580,000 per year
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11= Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

£9,360,000 per year
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11= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

£9,360,000 per year
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10. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

£9,466,673 per year
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7= Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

£10,400,000 per year
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7= David De Gea (Manchester United)

£10,400,000 per year
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7= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

£10,400,000 per year
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6. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

£12,000,000 per year
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5. Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

£13,000,000 per year
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4. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

£13,975,000 per year
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3. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

£15,080,000 per year
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2. Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)

£16,380,000 per year
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1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

£16,683,333 per year
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Fantasy Premier League prices: Most expensive players revealed, including Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham stars

27 Jun

Fantasy Premier League is back!

It’s the game that grips not only the nation but the whole globe and millions of fans can now pick their teams ahead of the 2019/20 season.

How much will point-scoring machine Mohamed Salah set you back this year?
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Having treated supporters to some tantalising price teases, the FPL has now been fully launched.

Players around the world can not set up their squads with their £100million budget and pick a suitably hilarious name for their selection of superstars.

If you want a great club, you’re going to have to sign one or two big money men – but who are the most expensive players up for grabs in every position?

You can find out below.

Goalkeepers

Allison (Liverpool) – £6m

Ederson (Manchester City) – £6m

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) – £5.5m

Kepa had a promising season for Chelsea between the sticks, despite his disagreement with Maurizio Sarri during the Carabao Cup final
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Jordan Pickford (Everton) – £5.5m

David de Gea (Manchester United) – £5.5m

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) – £5.5m

Defenders

Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) – £7m

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – £7m

Trent Alexander-Arnold won his first piece of silverware as a Liverpool player when they triumphed in the Champions League
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Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) – £6.5m

Virgil van Dijk  (Liverpool) – £6.5m

Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) – £6.5m

Midfielders

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £12.5m

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £12m

Raheem Sterling was sensational again for Man City as they sneaked to a Premier League title win ahead of Liverpool
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Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – £11.5m

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – £9.5m

Leroy Sane (Manchester City) – £9.5m

Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur) – £9.5m

At points last season Son was one of the best players in the Premier League
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Forwards

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £12.5m

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – £11m

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 31 goals in all competitions for Arsenal last season
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Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – £11m

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) – £9.5m

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – £9.5m

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – £9.5m

Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri aims dig at former players and can’t wait to manage Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus

20 Jun

Maurizio Sarri has dubbed Chelsea a team of individuals.

The 60-year-old quit the Blues to take over at Juventus and in his native Italy and was speaking for the first time since his appointment.

Maurizio Sarri spent just one season managing Chelsea
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Sarri won the Europa League and secured a third place Premier League finish for Chelsea, but a section of fans turned on him during his one season at the club.

And the Blues’ campaign was not without controversy, as the manager had a huge bust-up with Kepa Arrizabalaga when the goalkeeper refused to be substituted in the club’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

Speaking to reporters at his unveiling as Juventus manager, Sarri said: “Chelsea is a team made up of players, probably who have a higher technical level but with individual characteristics.

“They have players who play on the flank, want to play one v ones so from that point of view, the football they play is less fluid, less smooth.

“Compared to Napoli where they could all play well [together], at Chelsea there were seven or eight players playing individualistically.

“They were effective, solid and that was not so easy to defeat.”

Juve’s sporting director, Fabio Paratici explained Sarri was the club’s first choice to replace Massimiliano Allegri.

“We tried from the very beginning to make him understand that we truly wanted him,” he explained.

In Ronaldo, Sarri will be coaching one of the best players in the world at Juventus
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“Allegri leaves a heavy legacy,” Sarri added. “Winning what he won is very difficult, he achieved extraordinary results and I would like to see in the team the same ability to get past the difficulties that he was able to help them do so.”

The boss also explained managing Juventus is the crowning achievement in a career that has taken in a host of Italian sides, including Empoli and Napoli, and is already looking ahead to a season coaching some of the best players in the world.

“At Chelsea I trained many strong players, but to coach Cristiano Ronaldo is emotional, because it a step forward. I would like to help him to break even more records. When a player has the quality like Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, they can play in any role. The only thing that can change is the interpretation of the role.”

Manchester United vs Chelsea: The teams Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard could name for their 2019/20 Premier League season opener – Christian Pulisic and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to debut?

13 Jun

Manchester United host Chelsea on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

It is a mouth-watering showdown coming early in a vital campaign for both clubs with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard wanting to prove themselves as managers.

Lampard has been hired as Chelsea manager
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It is Solskjaer’s first full season as United manager, while Lampard has replaced Maurizio Sarri, who joined Juventus this summer.

The two both have differing transfer market circumstances too with the Norwegian able to splash the cash at Old Trafford, while at Stamford Bridge their legendary midfield must rely on youth as the club’s two-window transfer ban is currently ongoing.

Here, talkSPORT.com look at how both clubs could line up at Old Trafford on August 11 as they begin their campaigns.

Manchester United

David De Gea’s future remains up in the air, but reports claim United chiefs are set to make a last-ditch contract offer to him.

The Spaniard, whose deal runs out next summer, is believed to want the same £500,000-a-week wages as Alexis Sanchez.

United appear desperate to keep their No.1 and could give in to his demands to ensure he commits his long-term future to the club.

De Gea could have two new defenders in front of him. Crystal Palace starlet Aaron Wan-Bissaka has completed a big-money move to United.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be Manchester United’s new long-term right-back
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Further reports have claimed United will have to break their transfer record to land England star Harry Maguire.

The Leicester centre-back was close to moving to Old Trafford last summer, and he is back on the club’s radar.

A defensive partnership with Victor Lindelof would significantly strengthen United’s backline, which would have Luke Shaw at left-back.

Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay could be the workhorses in midfield to give Bruno Fernandes, Sporting Lisbon’s attacking midfielder, who could replace Real Madrid target Paul Pogba, a free role.

Bruno Fernandes helped Portugal win the Nations League last weekend
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Jesse Lingard, who is reportedly set to be offered a new contract by Solskjaer, could operate on the right with new signing Daniel James on the opposite wing and Marcus Rashford through the middle.

With Romelu Lukaku heavily linked with a move to Inter Milan, if he departs, it will be a big season for Rashford.

Is this the Manchester United team that will take on Chelsea?

Chelsea

With Chelsea’s transfer ban, their defence could look very similar to last season. Kepa is certain to keep his place in goal after an encouraging debut season in England.

Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso could make up the back four. Right-back Reece James, who is set to get a run in the first-team next season, is sidelined with ligament damage in his ankle.

Reece James enjoyed a hugely successful loan spell at Wigan last season
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Fikayo Tomori, who played almost every minute of Derby’s Championship campaign last term, could rival Luiz and Rudiger for a regular starting spot.

Rudiger missed the last month of the 2018/19 season with a knee injury, but is expected to be fit for the United clash.

With Mateo Kovacic’s loan deal from Real Madrid becoming permanent, it’s likely they will line-up with a similar midfield, with N’Golo Kante and the Croatian flanking Jorginho.

N’Golo Kante could return to his previous role for Chelsa
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We could, though, potenitally see Blues academy graduate Mason Mount and Ross Barkley play slightly further ahead if Lampard decides to move Kante back to his former position.

New boy Christian Pulisic will have to fill the void left by Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid in an initial £88million deal, which could rise to £150million.

England youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi is still nursing a ruptured achilles, which could see Willian start on the left wing to accommodate Pulisic.

Tammy Abraham could finally get a chance to lead the line for Chelsea after loan spells with Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa.

Is this what Lampard’s first Premier League XI will look like?
Buildlineup

Kepa Arrizabalaga: Chelsea keeper explains his ‘very good’ relationship with Manchester United’s David De Gea

6 Jun

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has revealed that he ‘often talks on the phone’ with his Spain counterpart David De Gea.

The contest to be La Furia Roja’s No 1 is fiercely competitive, with Manchester United star De Gea, a regular for his country, hot on the heels of the Blues ace.

Kepa Arrizabalaga and David de Gea have a great relationship
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Kepa has got the nod from Spain head coach Luis Enrique in two of Spain’s last four internationals, keeping clean sheets in the 2-0 victory over Malta and the 1-0 success over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Meanwhile, De Gea, who at 28 is four years Kepa’s senior, was Spain’s first choice at the 2018 World Cup and was an ever present for the Red Devils in a difficult 2018/2019 campaign.

Luis Enrique also has Real Betis’ Pau Lopez at his disposal for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Sweden.

However, Arrizabalanga has insisted it all remains healthy competition as the trio compete for the number one jersey.

“There are three goalkeepers in the squad,” said Kepa. “We have all been called up by Luis Enrique and we all want to play. We train hard and then it is the coach who decides.

“My relationship with De Gea is very good, we have worked well together. In addition to competing, we often talk on the phone. We have a fluid relationship.”

Elsewhere, the Blues No 1 referenced to his infamous fall-out with his manager Maurizio Sarri, which saw them publicly falling out during the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

Kepa was heavily criticised after refusing to be substituted during the Wembley showdown, with the former Atletico Bilbao goalkeeper admitting it was something he regretted doing.

Maurizio Sarri couldn’t believe it when Kepa refused to come off in the Carabao Cup final
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“It has been several months now,” said Kepa. “It’s true, that was a bad week for me. Of course it was a day I’m not proud of.

“I said sorry to him and from then on our relationship has been very good, like it was before.

“I’ve kept his confidence, we’ve accomplished our targets and I think our season was very positive.

“It has been a step forward in my career in every sense [moving to Chelsea].

“I’ve had a lot of games, we accomplished our targets for the season and now, looking backwards, I think it has been a positive year.”

Kepa helped Chelsea win the Europa League
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Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and the Europa League Team of the Tournament as selected by talkSPORT

28 May

The Europa League hasn’t failed to excite this season.

For the first time since the UEFA Cup became the Europa League in the 2009/10 season, the final will be contested by two clubs from England, with Arsenal and Chelsea set to battle it out in Baku to earn some silverware after a gruelling season – live on talkSPORT.

Sarri and Emery’s sides will battle it out in Baku

There is a lot more at stake for the Gunners, however, as a win would ensure they play in next season’s Champions League.

Chelsea have already secured their destiny following their third place finish in the Premier League.

But ahead of the Europa League final, talkSPORT.com has given its verdict on the Team of the Tournament.


GOALKEEPER

Chelsea no.1 KEPA ARRIZABALAGA has had an impressive debut season and was instrumental in the Blues’ run to the final.

Not only was he the hero in the semi-final penalty shoot-out win against Eintracht Frankfurt, but he has saved Chelsea’s blushes on many occasions throughout their European campaign.

DEFENDERS

Chelsea defender ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN has had a very solid campaign in the Europa League.

The Dane has played nearly every minute of the Blues’ run to the final and has helped Chelsea keep seven clean sheets, the most in the competition.

Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back MARTIN HINTEREGGER has been mightily impressive for the German side this campaign, particularly against Chelsea in the semi.

Most of Andreas Christensen’s playing time has come through cup games this season

He put in a series of good blocks and last ditch challenges to keep the Blues at bay and he has been doing this all campaign for his side.

Valencia defender EZEQUIEL GARAY has been imperious in defence for his side this tournament.

Although his club began the season in the Champions League he has been crucial for them on their run to the semi-finals, although he was ultimately unable to prevent Arsenal’s lethal strike force in the last round.

MIDFIELDERS

Frankfurt’s SEBASTIAN RODE worked tirelessly to keep Chelsea at bay in the last four and he was desperately unlucky his efforts were not rewarded.

He has been solid as rock throughout the campaign for his club in both attack and defence and looks a real dime in the midfield.

Chelsea playmaker RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK will be heartbroken he is not playing in the final following the Achilles tendon injury he picked up in a post-season friendly in Boston.

Loftus-Cheek has been Chelsea’s star in the Europa League this season
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The Englishman has arguably been the Blues’ best performer in the Europa League this term, chipping in with four crucial goals to send his side to the final.

Valencia midfielder DANIEL PAREJO has also been the main orchestrator in the Valencia line-up, puling the strings at the heart of the midfield to keep play ticking over for his side.

FORWARDS

There has been so many outstanding forwards in the Europa League that is it is extremely difficult to fit them all in.

Sevilla forward WISSAM BEN YEDDER has been on stellar form in Europe, notching up eight goals throughout the campaign to help his side to the quarter-finals.

Arsenal striker PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG – also on eight goals – has often been played on the left throughout the tournament and he was outstanding in their last match against Valencia, almost single-handedly sending the Gunners to Baku with a hat-trick.

Jovic has been tremendous for Frankurt this term

LUKA JOVIC has been incredible for Eintracht Frankfurt this term and he looks to be off to Real Madrid for his stellar displays.

Along with OLIVIER GIROUD, who completes the line-up, they are the top scoring players in the Europa League this season with 10 goals.

The Frenchman has been a handful for opposition defences in Europe throughout the campaign, scoring some stunning goals in the process.

Have a look at the line-up in full below…

The Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal will be live on talkSPORT at 20:00 on 29 May