Kepa Arrizabalaga has moved to clear up the issue at the 2019 Carabao Cup final when he refused to come off, and has stressed that he is happy to fight for his place at Chelsea.
The Spaniard joined Chelsea from Athletic Club in 2018 and had a fine first season at the club, which culminated in victory over Arsenal in the Europa League final.
However, his European heroics - he saved two penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals - were overshadowed by the controversy of the Carabao Cup final.
Chelsea defender James appeals for help from fans after medals stolen from home
Late in extra time, Kepa appeared to pick up an injury and Blues coach Maurizio Sarri called for the keeper to be replaced by Willy Caballero.
Kepa ignored the substitutes’ board and remained on the pitch, with Chelsea going on to lose the shootout 4-3 to Manchester City.
Player and coach subsequently cleared the air, but the issue continued to hover over Kepa - who has moved to clarify the events of February 24, 2019.
"Let’s just deal with that here once and for all," Kepa wrote in the Player's Tribune.
"It was all a big misunderstanding. After making a save, I felt something in my leg and I called for the physio to make sure it was nothing. Above all, though, I wanted to make sure that we as a team could catch our breath.
Suddenly, I saw that the coach, Maurizio Sarri, had sent Willy Caballero to warm up. He thought I couldn't go on. My intention, right or wrong, had only been to waste time to help the team. I didn’t have any serious problem that was going to keep me from continuing to play.
"I tried to signal that I was OK, that I wasn’t injured. But we were at Wembley in front of more than 80,000 people, so of course Sarri didn’t understand me. When the fourth official raised the board, clearly I should have come off, and I’m sorry I didn’t.
"I was wrong, and I am sorry for everyone who was involved: for Maurizio Sarri, who it seemed like I had undermined in public; for Willy, a team-mate and a great professional; and for all my team-mates and Chelsea fans who had to put up with everything - all the noise that was generated during the game and then in the days after."
VAR shocker! Disbelief as Brazil's Luiz gets highly controversial red card
Kepa suffered a dip in form in the following season, losing the confidence of Sarri’s replacement Frank Lampard, with Chelsea bringing in Edouard Mendy in September of 2020.
Mendy established himself in the team and kept a clean sheet as Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Champions League final in May 2021.
With Mendy the first choice at Stamford Bridge, Kepa’s future is a topic of debate but the 26-year-old is happy in London.
“I feel really good at Chelsea, both physically and mentally,” Kepa said. “I’m happy and I believe I’m a better goalkeeper than I was two years ago. Of course I would like to play more minutes.
"I would be lying if I said that I was completely happy with my situation. But I also respect the coach’s decisions. I understand that there are other players who are doing well. The team is doing great, too, and in the end that is the most important thing.
I’m starting this new season full of enthusiasm and ready to continue doing what I like the most. I know that if I work hard in every session, and support the team in any way I can, then the results will follow. They always do.
“Nobody knows what will happen in the future. But today I am very happy in London, and I hope that in the coming years I can celebrate many more titles with my team, Chelsea Football Club.”
Opinion: Chelsea can’t keep expecting Lukaku to save the day
Lukaku the hero again as Chelsea squeak past determined Zenit