Graham Potter
Graham Potter

Chelsea boss Graham Potter issued an important update on the injury of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who missed the Blues’ final group game against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. The goalkeeper had picked a foot injury against Brighton last weekend, as the Londoners suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat in Potter’s return to his former club. Though initially it had looked a minor knock, Kepa is now set for a longer recovery.

The Blues prevailed Zagreb at home as they avenged their shock loss from the reverse fixture. However, it cost them two of their players who fell to injuries, as midfielder Deni Zakaria who was handed his first start after joining Chelsea on loan picked a knock, and Ben Chilwell sustained a hamstring injury which didn’t look well. The duo have only added to the club’s injury list as an important run of games before the World Cup awaits the Blues, starting with Arsenal this weekend.

Graham Potter
Graham Potter had a negative update on injured star Kepa after the Dinamo Zagreb game. Credits: Twitter

Kepa not available for Arsenal showdown confirms Graham Potter

Kepa was enroute to a redeem himself this season after he had failed to live up to his hefty price tag of £72 million in back-to-back season. His stay in London further went from bad to worse as Chelsea brought in Edouard Mendy to take over the reigns from him in the summer of 2020. The Senegalese delivered some remarkable performances, helping the Blues lift the Champions League in his debut season.

However, an injury September kept the former Rennes ‘keeper out of action as Kepa was called into action. The Spain international rediscovered his blistering form between the sticks and kept Mendy on the bench despite the 30-year-old fully recovering from his injury. Kepa featured in 11 games in all competitions, keeping an impressive 5 clean-sheets and conceding 8 goals, 2 less than Mendy.

But its Kepa out now as he sustained a knock on his foot at the AMEX Stadium. And his spell on the sidelines is going to be a longer one, as Graham Potter spoke of it after the Zagreb win. The Chelsea manager was asked whether Kepa would return in goal against Arsenal in the London derby, as he told BT Sport:

“No he [Kepa Arrizabalaga] won’t be OK for Sunday [vs Arsenal]. It’s only precautionary [the crutches] to keep the weight off it, it’s the bottom of his foot. He’s progressing well but won’t be available for Sunday.”

Graham Potter
Kepa out means Graham Potter will have to pick Edouard Mendy who is back after recovering from an injury. Credits: Twitter

That comes as a huge blow to Graham Potter and Chelsea since the 28-year-old was in top form before sustaining the injury. On the other hand, Mendy’s return to action has been quite a turbulent one as he was thrown into the Brighton game in at the half-time and conceded the fourth goal in the stoppage time. Against Dinamo as well in his latest outing, Mendy looked off-beat as the Croatian side scored past him right in the 7th minute to take a 1-0 lead.

Chelsea have also lost Chilwell to an injury in the Champions League game, and though they are awaiting for further tests, it apparently looked a bad one which could force him to miss the World Cup next month with England. Chelsea have to face three of Premier League’s current top four teams before the World Cup break, as a clash with league leaders Arsenal will be followed by an EFL Cup tie against second-placed Manchester City and a trip to Newcastle United in the league who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.