?Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has given goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga four months to prove himself at Stamford Bridge, before he considers replacing the under-fire Spaniard.
Arrizabalaga has faced intense criticism in recent weeks for a series of errors which have cost his side. He has the lowest save percentage of any regular starter in the entire Premier League, and Chelsea have ?conceded goals from 16% of the shots which they have faced this year – no team has ever conceded at a higher rate since the stat was first tracked in 2003.
As noted by ?The Telegraph, Lampard is well aware of Arrizabalaga’s struggles, and he has decided to give the goalkeeper the rest of the season to prove that he deserves to remain as ?Chelsea‘s first-choice shot stopper going forward.
There are no immediate plans to replace the Spaniard, although Chelsea have begun considering their options. ?Burnley’s Nick Pope and ?Manchester United’s Dean Henderson have been ?touted as potential signings, but Arrizabalaga will be given the chance to salvage his reputation.
“I am not looking at it now,” said Lampard when asked about the possibility of replacing Kepa this winter.
“I am not affected by criticism from the outside as much. I am aware of it, not affected by it. It is what I want for the team and I think with Kepa he knows, he’ll be honest that there have been some mistakes that have cost us goals. It is the nature of it, so that needs to improve.
“That is what football is, every player no matter how great you are in your career, the best, the absolute best of all time will get criticised and you have to deal with it.
“Goalkeepers may have slightly more spotlight on them, but it is a similar thing, really. I think the important thing for that is not to get too embroiled in what is said on the outside and look at your own game.
“It is always the basics, how hard can I work. This is not just Kepa, any player. If you feel in a lack of form, fight to get it back. Go back to basics.”
Backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero is set to start Saturday’s FA Cup meeting with ?Hull City, and it remains to be seen whether Kepa will be reinstated to face ?Leicester City on 1 February.
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