There were expectations for Kepa Arrizabalaga to leave Chelsea after the Blues completed the signing of Edouard Mendy last summer.

The goalkeeper continued at Stamford Bridge, but Frank Lampard ostracised the 26-year-old, preferring the Senegal international ahead of him.

Kepa had another opportunity to look for a way out in the winter market, a step which he never took.

The Spain international confessed to COPE he never considered leaving the west London club.

“I have never thought about leaving Chelsea. This is my third season. In a very good [his first] season, we won the Europa League, the team qualifies for the Champions League and I’m playing for the national team,” he said.

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“The second year we changed coaches. With Lampard there has been no problem. I would have not given my better version. In the end it is true that I have not played what I wanted to play. I have no problem with it.”

The Premier League side replaced Lampard with Thomas Tuchel last month, and the German made a surprise team selection earlier this week, when he handed Kepa his first league start in four months, in his side’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United.

Tuchel’s arrival has made the custodian relatively happy, and the former Athletic Club Bilbao man now wants to turn things around for himself at Chelsea.

“From 0 to 10 happy, I’m 7.5. Three months ago, I was a little less [happy] because of the football issue,” Kepa explained.

“Outside of football I am well within the situation that we have had to live. It is a complicated year in every way.

“I hope to turn it around. I rely on my family, on trustworthy people, more than anything. I want to turn it around. Start playing a bit. I want to be here. Feel better and look to the future.”

“I have not gotten carried away in this time. Now I have felt good after inactivity. Hopefully in this time I can play more. What I want is to feel important at Chelsea, get back in goal and enjoy myself.

“In my internal forum I have been able to do it. Now I’m not scared. I want to feel more important and work for it. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Kepa arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2018 and earlier that year, when he was still at the Basque club, there was heavy speculation about Real Madrid’s interest.

The custodian also spoke about ‘frustrated’ failed move to Los Blancos.

“It was not done. I had finished the contract, I had contact with different clubs and I ended up renewing for Athletic. There was nothing more. I did not undergo a medical examination with any club,” Tuchel’s man concluded.

Kepa’s focus now is on the Champions League clash against Atlético Madrid.

“It’s an important game, but we haven’t prepared for it because we have more games ahead of us. A month ago I would tell you that Atlético were in very good shape. In recent weeks we have improved. The team looks different,” he explained.

“The smallest detail will make the difference. I cannot answer you if I will play against Atlético. In the end, Mendy has played and in the last matches I have done it.

“I’m not afraid of Luis Suárez. I hope he doesn’t have his best day. He has been creating danger for many years. If I could remove an Atleti player for our tie, I would remove Oblak. Koke, Llorente… they are doing well, but if I can choose, [I] would remove Oblak.”