Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga won’t play again for the Blues before club football breaks for the World Cup later this month.
Kepa, still the world’s most expensive goalkeeper following his £71.6m transfer from Athletic Club in 2018, has regained his place as a Chelsea starter this season.
As understudy to Edouard Mendy, the Spaniard was already getting the nod in the Champions League due to rotation. But when Mendy got injured, Kepa was thrown into Premier League games and then kept his place even after the towering Senegal star recovered.
But now the situation has changed again. Kepa had to come off at half-time during Chelsea’s heavy defeat to Brighton last weekend and was then ruled out of the midweek Champions League clash against Dinamo Zagreb.
He won’t make a swift return to action this weekend, with Graham Potter now revealing the 28-year-old will be sidelined until at least after next weekend when the final round of Premier League fixtures before the World Cup break take place.
“It’s his plantar fascia, the bottom of his foot. I don’t think he’ll play before the World Cup,” Potter explained when giving an update on the problem.
Briefly installed as Spain number one in 2019 when David de Gea was first dropped, Kepa was not expected to go to the World Cup with La Roja, having not been called up himself since 2020.
But his resurgent form for Chelsea had at least asked the question and he was reported in Spain to have been included on the 55-player preliminary squad list alongside Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez, David Raya and David Soria. Simon, Sanchez and Raya were already expected to get the nod for the final 26-player squad, but Kepa’s injury now seems it will definitely stop him making a late run.