Chelsea goalkeeper says he’ll be ready to play when AFCON comes around

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Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has said that he will be ready to step up in the absence of current number one Edouard Mendy when he departs for AFCON.

AFCON, otherwise known as the African cup of Nations, will take place in the middle of the season and could see a whole host of players from Premier League leave for international duty when the competition starts, with Chelsea number one Mendy among them.

Speaking to The Athletic, Kepa said: “Well, it is two months away. Of course, we know it can happen and I will be ready but we have a lot of games until we start thinking about that.

“Let’s go step by step and we’ll see what happens. If he goes to the African Cup, all the best and I’ll be ready. But it’s still a long way to arrive at that point.”

Since joining from Ligue 1 side Rennes at the start of last season, Mendy has proven to be an outstanding goalkeeper, keeping more clean sheets than he has conceded goals under Thomas Tuchel.

Meanwhile Kepa, has had a far more turbulent time while at Chelsea since joining for a record breaking fee in 2018. Kepa struggled in his first two seasons at Chelsea before being dropped to the number two spot behind Mendy.

However, with some time out of the spotlight he has seemed to regain his confidence and has been a dependable deputy for the club when called upon.

And with AFCON coming up in a couple of months Kepa may well be forced to play over a month of football for Chelsea as their number one, depending on how far Senegal progress into the tournament.

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