Former Chelsea striker and talkSPORT presenter Tony Cascarino has criticised the manner in which Frank Lampard has handled club record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Blues signed the Spanish goalkeeper from Athletic Bilbao for £70 million in 2018 and has demonstrated moments of brilliance on numerous occasions. However, the young goalkeeper has also had moments to forget.
The 25-year-old Spaniard has made 85 appearances thus far for Chelsea but has recently been moved aside for Willy Caballero due to a drop-in form.
Something is simmering
Cascarino claimed that he feels something is simmering at Chelsea before questioning Lampard’s choice to drop him amidst the unsteady performances of other world-class goalkeepers in the league.
“There is something simmering at Chelsea Football Club, and it’s boiling over,” began Cascarino.
“It’s this Kepa situation. Petr Cech has come in to oversee everything that’s going on at the football club, and he was a goalkeeper.
“They’ve spent £70m to bring Kepa to the football club. After the Arsenal game, where they conceded two goals, Kepa got left out and hasn’t been back in since.
“Now, Frank Lampard has got a big call on this one. You’re putting in a 38-year-old goalkeeper when the club has spent £70m on Kepa.
“I’ve been really surprised that Lampard hasn’t shown any loyalty to Kepa at all. Did he make big mistakes? Not really. Could he have done more? Yes, I think that’s a fair point.
“Bernd Leno has kept his place and Arsenal; he’s had a couple of ‘Kepa’ moments. David de Gea has had worse moments than him. Hugo Lloris has had bad moments at Tottenham.”
Lampard denies fallout with Kepa
Kepa has been left out of the starting eleven since the Blues drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge to Arsenal, but Lampard has insisted their relationship in fine.
“My relationship [with Kepa] is fine,” said Lampard. “I have 20 or so players to keep happy but I can’t keep them all happy at the same time so all I expect is professionalism in training, which Kepa has shown.
“Every player is in control of their own destiny with how they train and how they turn up every day.
“Kepa is training well but so is Caballero, who’s also been playing pretty well and made some really good saves against Bayern Munich. I have competition there so I will decide as we go.”
In light of the Blues’ disappointing draw on the South coast to Bournemouth, the perfect opportunity for Kepa to make his return could be around the corner.