While Edouard Mendy was helping Senegal to glory at the African Cup of Nations, Kepa Arrizabalga was holding down the fort at Chelsea.
With an important penalty save in the FA Cup and a solid man of the match performance in the Club World Cup final, Kepa was as reliable a deputy keeper as anyone can ask for.
Mendy applauded his teammate: “He did a fantastic job when I was at AFCON, even before. We all know how good he is and this is why you play for Chelsea. You are the best player in every position.”
“You have to be ready, to fight for your place. Yes, we work really well with Marcus also and the goalkeeper coach, Hilario. I think it’s very good teamwork. The team is most important.”
It’s unclear if Mendy will take back his starting position in the Club World Cup final. However, if Kepa does keep his place, he’s more than earned it.