Cast your mind back a few months ago, Chelsea Football Club were desperate for a new goalkeeper. The performances of record signing, Kepa Arrizabalaga, was alarming the management and fans alike.
The gossip on Chelsea so far this transfer window has been outfield players. The signings of Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva mean key areas have been addressed.
The latter two have been signed to improve the defence. Chilwell means the weak area at left-back last season has been ticked off for Lampard. Silva too, in the heart of defence. His presence and experience will go a long with the back four.
It was a huge issue last season; his seven French league titles and leadership role will instantly add organisation and professionalism to the ranks. This will go a long way with the new, younger players, who now have a serial winner to look up to.
Living up to a price tag
Behind the back four, the goalkeeper position was the biggest issue at the club. Kepa had a bad season. His £70million price tag from 2018 has not helped, it instantly adds pressure whenever he takes to the field.
The Spaniard was dropped on two occasions last season due to poor performances. He missed out on five Premier League games after making continuous errors.
Failing to command in his own box was the dominating issue for the number one. You can have all the centre-backs you wish for, but an inconsistent goalkeeper instantly makes the side vulnerable.
This was most notably the case against West Ham United post lockdown. His frailties were exposed after failing to collect the ball from a corner. Kepa came off his line but did not to make an impact.
This happened on two occasions against The Hammers, with the same player. Tomas Soucek nodded a corner home; the goal was disallowed. A let off for Kepa. The second counted, he did not learn from his earlier error.
If he stayed put on his line, it would have been a routine save. Failing to connect with the ball and ease pressure meant the Czech midfielder scored. His side went onto win 3-2 at the London Stadium.
When will it be too late?
You can talk about previous mistakes all day. It happens, it is a huge part of football. The magnitude is the issue. How many times will it cost Chelsea before it's too late. What if a trophy, top four or even a title is at stake?
The goalkeeper front has gone very quiet. Kepa remains the club number one, despite Willy Caballero getting the nod at the back end of last season.
Chelsea have spent £130million so far on Werner, Ziyech and Chilwell. The fee of Kai Havertz could take the summer spending to £100miilion more. Can the club afford a new goalkeeper?
Kepa’s debut season in 2018/2019 was impressive under Maurizio Sarri. His second season the opposite. Yet he could get another chance to prove his worth at number one.
There have been rumours of Mike Maignan, Jan Oblak and most recently of Gianluigi Donnarumma. Nothing is set in stone yet.
The season kicks off on September 12, two days later for Chelsea, away at Brighton. The former Bilbao keeper could get another shot at stamping his authority.
Maybe Lampard valued other areas as more important, the proof came after the club signed three attacking players in Werner, Ziyech and soon to be Havertz.
The latter is next on the list. His move from Bayer Leverkusen will cost a whopping £80million, plus £20million add-ons.
Kepa could audition his ability until January, when the next window opens. Time will tell on how long he will hold the number one jersey in West London.