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Robert Moreno: Spain No. 1 Spot Not Certain for David De Gea, Kepa Arrizabalaga

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 10: (L-R) Kepa Arrizabalaga of Spain, David de Gea of Spain during the  EURO Qualifier match between Spain  v Sweden  at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 10, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Spain head coach Robert Moreno has said neither Manchester United's David De Gea nor Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga are guaranteed the No. 1 spot for their national team.

De Gea has been Spain's regular starting goalkeeper since he succeeded Iker Casillas in the role.

But he struggled for La Roja at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and made a number of uncharacteristic errors for United in the latter stages of the 2018-19 season:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

3 - David de Gea has made three errors leading to goals in his last four games in all competitions for Manchester United - as many as in his previous 123 matches combined for the Red Devils. Sloppy. #MUNCHE https://t.co/Tbq59cYSU7

As a result, his spot as Spain's No. 1 is under serious threat, particularly from Blues 'keeper Kepa, who has been consistently impressive at both Chelsea and Athletic Bilbao in the last few seasons.

The 24-year-old has only six Spain caps, compared to De Gea's 39.

But former Barcelona assistant manager Moreno, who was appointed Luis Enrique's successor as Spain boss in June, has said there is no hierarchy among his goalkeepers, and De Gea, Kepa and Roma stopper Pau Lopez (one cap) will compete for the No. 1 spot, per Cadena SER (h/t Goal's Matt Dorman):

"My goalkeepers are De Gea, Kepa and Pau Lopez. I like that there is competition. Kepa is not ahead of De Gea, and neither is ahead of Pau.

"I want to get to the Euros with three goalkeepers who are ready to compete. They are all playing at a high level and there are nuances and differences between them. All three have good footwork. At Barca, we won the treble alternating goalkeepers."

Spain´s newly appointed coach Robert Moreno gives a press conference on July 19, 2019 at Las Rozas football sports city near Madrid. - Luis Enrique stepped down as Spain coach and is replaced by assistant Robert Moreno. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)
OSCAR DEL POZO/Getty Images

Spain are back in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying action in early September when they play a Group F double-header away in Romania and at home to the Faroe Islands. 

After winning their opening four qualifying games, Spain sit comfortably at the top of their pool on 12 points, five clear of Sweden in second. 

Kepa has started each of the Spain's last three fixtures—qualifying wins against Sweden, Faroe Islands and Malta—but Enrique was still nominally in charge for those matches.

The former Barcelona manager subsequently stepped down from the role for personal reasons after less than a year in charge.