Kepa Arrizabalaga is the latest star to have his World Cup hopes thrown into doubt after Graham Potter confirms he won’t play again for Chelsea until AFTER the World Cup as the Blues’ injury problems worsen
Kepa Arrizabalaga will not play for Chelsea again until after the World Cup, according to Chelsea manager Graham Potter.
The goalkeeper sustained a foot injury in the Blues’ 4-1 loss at Brighton last Saturday and was replaced at halftime as Potter suffered his first defeat as manager.
The Spaniard will now miss Chelsea’s next two games, with his chances of being recalled by Spain hanging by a thread as he becomes the latest player to be sidelined with the Qatar tournament now less than two weeks away.
‘Kepa, no,’ Potter answered when questioned about Kepa, who the 47-year-old replaced as number one in place of Edouard Mendy when he was promoted.
‘It’s his plantar fascia, which is located at the bottom of his foot. ‘I don’t think he’ll play till after the World Cup.’
Kepa had made an unexpected return to the side under Potter, contributing to a nine-game undefeated run at the start of Potter’s rule.
Despite costing the club a hefty £71.6million in 2018, he replaced Mendy in the side after losing his spot some months earlier, still a world record fee paid for a goalkeeper.
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- Kepa Arrizabalaga is the latest star to have his World Cup hopes thrown into doubt after Graham Potter confirms he won’t play again for Chelsea until AFTER the World Cup as the Blues’ injury problems worsen
Kepa has been missing from previous Spain teams, but he will be looking for a comeback following a streak of strong performances at club level.
He’s also one of several high-profile players racing against the clock to be ready to play in Qatar, including Chelsea teammates Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
After undergoing knee surgery, James will have to recover ahead of schedule if he wants to play for England at the tournament, while Chilwell is awaiting findings from a diagnostic on a hamstring injury sustained in the Champions League in midweek.
N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba have both been ruled out for the tournament, as have Diogo Jota, Pedro Neto, Paulo Dybala, and Timo Werner.
Son Heung-Min, Raphael Varane, Kyle Walker, and Gareth Bale are among those expecting to be fit for the tournament.
The World Cup begins on November 20, with Qatar taking on Ecuador in the opening match.