Former Chelsea goalkeeper tells Lampard what to do with Kepa

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Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a difficult second season in England after a big money move from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2018.

Kepa had struggled to impress Blues boss Frank Lampard this season, and Lampard dropped him to the bench for six consecutive games, with second choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero taking his place.

Kepa was however restored to the starting line-up in our last two games before the enforced league break, and the Spaniard impressed in those games.

Chelsea have been linked with a number of goalkeeping targets ahead of next season, but former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Bosnich believes that Lampard should stick with Kepa.

“I was probably in the minority as a goalkeeper as I didn’t mind competition for places,” Bosnich told Goal. “I thought being a goalkeeper was the same as any position that if you are not playing well, then it is understandable that someone else comes in.

“With Kepa, it is a little bit different because of the price tag that surrounds him but it wasn’t Frank Lampard who bought him. It was somebody else. I was impressed with the way he came back but he has been struggling a little bit this season.

“It is completely understandable as a manager if someone is not doing it for you at a big club you think somewhere else. There are stories around about Donnarumma or Onana but with any goalkeeper you talk about purchasing, especially from abroad, there’s nothing like playing the position in England.

“There’s more physical challenges on the crosses that you get in England than anywhere else in the world. You have to be careful. I am not privy to what’s gone on behind the scenes but if a manager-player relationship breaks down, then that’s a different matter.

“I just think it was down to his form which in terms of the standard when he first came, it hasn’t been up to scratch this season. Frank was well within his rights to leave him out when he did but I thought he did well when he came back.

“I rate Kepa, I thought he was a superb shot-stopper with good agility and his kicking was okay for me. I think people make too much of his problems with distribution but the first job is to keep the ball out of the net. Kicking is a bonus.

“In terms of dominating his box, he is young and slight so it has taken time to get to grips with that. That’s something they need to work on. For me, he has not been a disaster in any sense of the word. He has done okay so far.

“It is difficult to follow Petr Cech in their most successful era at the club. Then you have Thibaut Courtois, who was exceptional as well. I believe that Kepa has the ability given time to get to that level.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.