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Kepa Arrizabalaga ready to challenge Manchester United's David De Gea for Spain

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer believes record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga will be confident playing out from the back.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has said he feels "mature" enough to challenge Manchester United counterpart David De Gea for the Spain No. 1 spot under Luis Enrique.

Both men have been included in the former Barcelona manager's first Spain squad for UEFA Nations League matches against England and Croatia, but De Gea is under pressure following a disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia.

Some in Spain have already begun lobbying for Kepa to take De Gea's place and, while the 23-year-old concedes that Luis Enrique will make the final decision, he insisted that he is ready.

"Of course I feel more mature now, that's what games and experience give you," Kepa told AS when asked if he felt ready to be Spain No. 1. "I face difficult situations in another way. Over the years I have felt more prepared.

"It's a question for the coach. What I will do is work, although obviously we all want to play. The coach will decide the best thing for the team, but in the training sessions I'll try to put in the effort, especially for the good of the group.

"I have always stayed focused, working to the fullest. All players work to compete and to play. The coach decides and we accept whatever it is, always with good harmony.

"I try to keep out of [the debate]. At the end, we wanted to get as far as possible in the World Cup and it was not like that. De Gea is a great goalkeeper and the goal is perfectly covered with him.

"The World Cup was how it was, we came back too early, but I don't pay attention to polls or what people say. I try to isolate myself and focus on my job."

Chelsea made Kepa the world's most expensive goalkeeper in August when they agreed to activate the £71.5 million buyout clause in his contract with Athletic Bilbao, and he has enjoyed a largely untroubled start to his career in English football.

Despite looking vulnerable defensively at times as they adjust to Maurizio Sarri's tactics, Chelsea have kept two clean sheets en route to winning all four of their opening Premier League matches, and Kepa said that the club's large Spanish contingent have helped ease his adaptation.

"It's important that a team has teammates that you knew before," he said. "[Cesar] Azpilicueta, [Alvaro] Morata ... with their help it's much easier because to go into the dressing room where you know people makes everything happen faster."

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