Kepa, 25, arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2018 as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois who left for Real Madrid as the Blues paid Athletic Bilbao $90 million which was the release clause in his contract and it made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.
Lampard has criticized Kepa openly for shaky displays this season and he dropped him for the 2-2 draw at Leicester City on Saturday as Willy Caballero started.
The Daily Express claim that Lampard wants to sign Burnley and England goalkeeper Nick Pope or Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita to replace Kepa but other reports state the Chelsea hierarchy aren’t keen on selling Kepa this summer.
Does Kepa deserve to be dropped and then be sold?
He certainly has been hesitant for most of his first two seasons at Chelsea, struggles to command his box and Chelsea’s defensive struggles this season have been blamed on their central defenders but Kepa hasn’t received that much criticism.
Now, you hear this a lot about goalkeepers: “He’s a good shot-stopper.” Kepa is but that is his overwhelming strength and after he undermined Maurizio Sarri in the League Cup final penalty shootout last season, there’s a sense he doesn’t quite fit in at Chelsea and isn’t a fans favorite at all.
Often there are groans around Stamford Bridge when the ball is played back to Kepa during a game and he is calm with the ball at his feet but often gets defenders in front of him in trouble with short passes. Kepa is okay. He’s not a goalkeeper worth $85 million and we all knew that from the start as that was his release clause and Chelsea were forced to pay it as Courtois left.
Lampard is still upset about not being able to sign a player in January even though their transfer ban was reduced and he made two statements at Leicester on Saturday. First, he replaced Kepa with veteran goalkeeper Caballero who was at fault for Leicester’s second goal. Second, he didn’t bring on a striker to replace Tammy Abraham late in the game to highlight the fact he didn’t get the striker he wanted.
Chelsea’s main area for upgrades are in goal, at center back and up front. Their spine needs strengthening and quality over quantity is needed as Lampard has plenty of players of very similar ability.