Kepa conceded another poor goal here at the Amex last night when he let in a long-range effort from Leandro Trossard. He was rescued by a brilliant strike from Reece James and a goal from Kurt Zouma as Chelsea began their season with a hard-fought win.
But the mistake was another warning that Lampard must address his goalkeeping situation if he wants to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City.
Kepa costs Chelsea too often and Lampard needs to be ruthless as he closes in on the signing of Senegal international Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
Jurgen Klopp wasted no time in replacing Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius when it became clear they were not good enough for Liverpool. The signing of Alisson in 2018 helped Klopp turn the club into champions.
It was the same at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola, who axed Claudio Bravo in 2017 and replaced him with Ederson. Guardiola won his first title with City the following season.
Alisson and Ederson are examples of how important a top goalkeeper is to creating a successful team.
Since Kepa joined for £71.6million two years ago, he has conceded more goals from outside the area (19) than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League. That is not good enough for a club bidding to challenge for the title.
Last season he conceded 47 times in 33 League games and his save ratio was 53.3 per cent. Mendy, in comparison, conceded 19 in 24 and had a save ratio of 76.3 per cent.
Lampard had looked at Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak but switched attention to Mendy when Chelsea lowered their sights to more affordable options. He refused to criticise Kepa after the Brighton win but suggested he is open to bringing in competition.
Chelsea were not at their fluent best last night after their £200m-plus spending spree over the summer.
But Timo Werner impressed on his debut, winning a penalty and showed glimpses of why he was one of Europe’s most sought after strikers before Chelsea snapped him up. Kai Havertz did not make such an immediate impact but he has only been at Chelsea a week and will be another quality addition once he gets up to speed.
Chelsea will need to be better against Liverpool on Sunday, but this was a good start.