Kepa Arrizabalaga is confident he can turn his career around at Chelsea.
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The most-expensive goalkeeper in history (he joined Chelsea for $92.1 million from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2018) was dropped by Frank Lampard on numerous occasions last season and the Blues signed Edouard Mendy to replace him this summer after he made errors against Brighton and Chelsea.
Kepa, 26, is willing to stick around at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place as he has spoken while away on international duty with the Spanish national team.
“I feel good, strong and confident,” Kepa Arrizabalaga said. “Maybe not the dream and expected situation. We have to experience things like this during our career as footballers. I need to carry on working calmly. I am confident to turn the situation around. When I have the opportunity to play I will try to do it the best possible.”
Asked about Lampard’s recent comments supporting Kepa and saying that criticism of him has been over the top, here was Kepa’s response.
“I think you should ask him as they were his words. Each coach is different on his communication with the players. I am not going to comment on those words. I feel the confidence of the club and also here in the national team. As I have said, I am playing for two top teams with two magnificent coaches. I am only focused on the next match trying to add if possible,” Kepa said.
There is a good goalkeeper in there. He’s had his good and bad moments at Chelsea and he certainly isn’t the worst goalkeeper in the world. But he’s not the best, by far, and his mistakes have been costly and Lampard just can’t afford for Kepa to be the cause of 5-7 goals per season because the defenders ahead of him have been porous enough.
For now, Edouard Mendy is Chelsea’s number one and Kepa will likely to have to wait for an injury or loss of form from Mendy to get back in. He will be a good goalkeeper elsewhere and it still very young, but his game doesn’t seem suited to the Premier League and we should perhaps expect to see him head back to Spain on loan in the upcoming transfer windows.
As long as Lampard is in charge at Chelsea it seems very unlikely that Kepa will be part of his plans.