- 26 Feb 2024
Lampard under no pressure to sell £71million Kepa
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insists he is under “no pressure” by the club to sell £71million Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spaniard joined Chelsea for a record fee in 2018 from Athletic Bilbao, as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois.
However, Kepa has been unable to maintain a run of consistent form between the sticks, and has also been guilty of some high-profile errors.
At points last season, Willy Caballero was brought in instead, while this summer Lampard signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes to be his new number one.
With an expensive asset sitting on the bench, Lampard was asked whether he was being told to offload Kepa by Chelsea, which he has denied.
“There’s no pressure,” he replied.
“The pressure is to win games. I have to do the right thing game by game. Of course Mendy has made himself a permanent fixture at this point.
“The pressure to win games means I pick people in form whether it is a striker, winger or goalkeeper, whoever. At the same time, the game tomorrow is a chance to give Edou a rest and give Kepa a game. He is training well and he deserves it.”
Lampard is set to name Kepa in his starting XI for this week’s Champions League clash against Krasnodar.
The match presents the Blues boss with the opportunity to rotate his line-up, with his team having already securing progression to the knockout stages.
In the 2019/20 season, Kepa was averaging 1.4 goals conceded per 90 minutes in the Premier League, and conceded 47 goals in 33 games overall.
Mendy, in his seven league starts so far, has earned five clean sheets and is averaging 0.3 goals conceded per 90.