‘Kepa knows he can’t outlast Lampard at Chelsea’ - £71m keeper isn’t ‘finished article’, says Green

Goal.com

Kepa Arrizabalaga knows he cannot outlast Frank Lampard at Chelsea, says Robert Green, with patience needing to be shown with the world’s most expensive goalkeeper as he seeks to prove his worth.

The Blues invested £71 million ($86m) in the Spain international when bringing him in as Thibaut Courtois’ replacement during the summer of 2018.

As a player with plenty of potential to still unlock, the plan was to have Kepa fill the No.1 spot at Stamford Bridge for many years.

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Questions have, however, been asked of his form and future, with Frank Lampard taking to dropping him out of the Blues’ starting XI at one stage.

Kepa did offer signs of encouragement prior to the coronavirus lockdown, but Chelsea have still been linked with moves to bring in the likes of Ajax custodian Andre Onana.

Green, who was part of the Blues squad prior to his retirement in 2019, believes more faith needs to be shown with a shot-stopper who still has time and ability on his side.

The former England international has told Radio 5 Live: “We're saying Dean Henderson is one for the future, he’s 23, Kepa is 25, it's not like he's a million miles away.

“But because of that price tag, you're expecting that bit more. That's the immediate assumption, he's not the finished article, that was never the case with Kepa.

Kepa Arrizabalaga Chelsea 2019
Kepa Arrizabalaga Chelsea 2019

“It was going to happen at some point. You walk off the plane on a Friday afternoon from Belarus or somewhere and you've got to play again on the Sunday lunchtime. It's so draining, it’s so hard and it's the first time he's done that.

“This year, it's the Champions League and the pressure is even greater. Maybe the more open style they're playing is dragging into that and they haven't been at tight as last season.

“It's funny at Chelsea. It's not the most transparent in terms of the signings it's making. The manager doesn't always make the decisions. I don't think Maurizio Sarri knew who I was when I signed, let alone approve the signature.

“You look at that but who is making the decisions? Maybe with Petr Cech, the communications might be better.

“You talk about timing, those couple of games he had coming back, he got man of the match against Manchester United in the FA Cup.

“If he hadn't have come back with those games, I think this might have been something where you say 'yeah this is a real possibility'.

“Who Frank is speaking to is another big thing and what their opinion is. They are going to stick with Frank and there is a lot of players with long-term contracts who say ‘I’m going to outlast the manager’ – I don’t think any of the players will be thinking that about Frank.”

Kepa has made 87 appearances for Chelsea to date, helping them to Europa League glory and the Carabao Cup final during his debut campaign in west London.

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