When Chelsea paid a club-record and world-record fee to secure the signing of Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from the Spanish La Liga in 2018 under Maurizio Sarri, the feeling around the club was that they had finally laid their hands on a shot-stopper for the next decade.
During his first full season at Chelsea, Kepa impressed the club’s bosses and was then handed an automatic starting role given his good form. But the story began to change for the worse during his second season.
Kepa suffered a loss of form and confidence as a result of consecutive poor outings for the Blues, and even then the story was still a better tale to tell than what the situation has turned out to be currently.
The former Athletic Bilbao number 1 last made an appearance for Chelsea back in October and has been frozen out of the team since the arrival of Eduoard Mendy who arrived at the club from Rennes for £20 million.
To further explain how bad the situation has turned out for Kepa, former Chelsea keeper and legend Peter Cêch had to come out of retirement to train with the Chelsea goalkeeping coaches during the international break just in case Mendy sustained an injury.
Kepa is looking destined to leave Chelsea but head coach Frank Lampard has cooled the rumors by saying there’s no pressure at all to let go of the £71million acquisition. He however said the current number 1 spot in the squad is now permanently for Mendy.
Chelsea will play their final Champions League group stage game as they welcome Krasnodar to Stanford Bridge on Tuesday after already securing qualification to the next round. Given the circumstances surrounding the fixture, Lampard will be looking to give fringe players some game time ahead of a busy Christmas schedule.