11 June 2019

Kepa 'Surprised' To Keep Spain Place  (Sky Sports)

Kepa ArrizabalagaKepa Arrizabalaga has insisted he was "surprised" to keep his place as Spain goalkeeper for their 3-0 win against Sweden ahead of David de Gea.

The 24-year-old Chelsea 'keeper, who made just his second competitive start for Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier against the Faroe Islands on Friday, was expected to be replaced by De Gea for Monday's match against Sweden.

But he kept his place in the starting XI, signalling the end of De Gea's spell as Spain's undisputed first-choice goalkeeper, for now.

"I was surprised because it wasn't normal before," said Kepa. "I have never played two matches in a row for Spain. If I add the one before it's three already. I am very happy.

"I'm going to continue working as I have until now, doing my best at my club to keep the confidence of the coach. Whoever plays will do very well."

Kepa became the the world's most expensive goalkeeper when he signed for Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao last summer for £71.6m.

Meanwhile, De Gea, 28, has been the subject of increased scrutiny in Spain after a tough World Cup and endured a difficult season for his club side Manchester United with a number of below-par performances. Speculation about his future at Old Trafford continues with his contract up next summer.

"Of course I understand that David is sad, we all train to play and then it is the decision of the coach, and it is up to you to respond well," added Kepa.

"We are always surrounded by such controversies, but we must take it naturally. I'm happy to play, to help the team and to finish the season in the best way possible.

"The season has been very long, but before we left we had these two very important commitments. We are happy to finish in the best way possible."

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