Kepa Arrizabalaga ‘s latest mistake all but sealed his demotion to Chelsea’s number two by next weekend, whether Edouard Mendy arrives or not.
Chelsea are set to complete a £22million deal for the Rennes goalkeeper this week, but be it Mendy or Willy Caballero – who will start against Barnsley on Wednesday – who takes the No1 spot, Kepa’s time is up.
His manager, Frank Lampard, says the Spaniard needs support after two mistakes in Chelsea’s opening two games of the Premier League season attracted more scrutiny and condemnation of his performances.
The 25-year-old was dispossessed by Sadio Mane before the Liverpool forward turned in his second as Jurgen Klopp’s side ran out 2-0 winners at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but it was not the only costly mistake of the game. Things were going to plan in the first half, up to the point of Andreas Christensen’s reckless challenge on Mane resulting in him seeing red following a VAR monitor review by referee Paul Tierney. But again, that Christensen made the challenge, throwing his arms around Mane and bundling him to the ground, when Kepa was yards away having rushed from his goal, is indicative of the lack of trust the back four have in their goalkeeper.
If Chelsea are to settle their defensive issues – an absolute must if they are to realise Lampard’s ambition of breaking the duopoly at the top of the Premier League – then the back four must have confidence in the man behind them. That Alisson, the keeper Chelsea had originally targeted over Kepa, was stood at the other end and saved Jorginho’s second half penalty, only made his counterpart look more fragile. Continue reading