Kepa Arrizabalaga is the talk of the town at Chelsea and all for the wrong reasons. The world’s most expensive goalkeeper refused to come off the pitch when his number was up in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. Maurizio Sarri was fuming on the touchline – and within good reason.
Arguments will rightly be had about whether the Spaniard was right to remain on the pitch. However, Chelsea must put the incident behind them and focus on Tottenham Hotspur – a game Arrizabalaga needs to play in.
Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga Needs to Play Against Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea and Tottenham May Not Have Come At A Better Time
The Blues meet Spurs at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as the Premier League action continues. There is no need to discuss how important the fixture is for both sets of supporters. Three points over their London rivals will go down extremely well with those at SW6.
Chelsea and Tottenham both have a rivalry that has stepped up a few notches each year recently. However, with both teams still having something to play for, it could be the best opportunity for the home side to quickly move on and continue their push for a top four finish. They can take some pride from the performance against Manchester City in their League Cup defeat and use it as the catalyst to ignite a phase of a good form.
The actual match may not have been entertaining, however, Sarri’s side looked a lot better and more organised than they have in recent outings.
Tottenham will have been disappointed by their defeat to Burnley at the weekend, giving those in west London a real chance to make amends to the 3-1 drubbing earlier in the year.
Arrizabalaga Must Play on Wednesday
Arrizabalaga needs to be one of the 22 men on the field when they do meet, despite his antics on Sunday evening. There is no doubt that Willy Caballero could perform well – but the 24-year-old Spaniard is the better option.
The goalkeeper has been a solid feature for the Stamford Bridge outfit. He has performed relatively well in his debut season following his huge £72 million move from Athletic Bilbao in the summer.
Granted, there have been some mistakes and he has not always looked the best. But he is still young and is still learning. The majority, if not all, footballers make mistakes at some point. His future, whether that be at Chelsea or not, still looks incredibly bright.
Caballero, who is at the other end of the spectrum in terms of age, has made mistakes. His costly mistake against Croatia in the World Cup a memorable one. There are reasons as to why Sarri went and bought Arrizabalaga in the summer to replace Thibault Courtois.
Sarri Must Bite The Bullet On Arrizabalaga
It is evident that Arrizabalaga is not without blame and it is hard to condone what he has done and Sarri now finds himself choosing between a rock and a hard place in making a decision.
Does he punish him and make an example out of him? Or does he risk Chelsea losing to Tottenham and potentially ruining any chance they have of making the top four? If that happens, how much longer can he realistically say he has a job at Stamford Bridge.
It may be far from the ideal situation, however, biting the bullet on one that was a total ‘misunderstanding’ might be the best thing to do in regards to the long-term future for both Arizzabalaga and Sarri.
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