Chelsea legend Joe Cole has called for Kepa Arrizabalaga to prove his worth in order to save his career at Stamford Bridge following difficulties in his spell at the club so far.
The former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper has recently come under increasing scrutiny for his performances for the Blues, who have hit a blip in their season under Frank Lampard.
As a result, Cole believes that the next five months will be decisive for Kepa’s career in West London and, while he identifies there are no glaring issues, he admits there is work to be done.
Giving his verdict on the situation, Cole called for Kepa to emulate David de Gea at Manchester United, who initially struggled at Old Trafford before finding his feet.
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“I think the next five months are massive for Kepa’s career and his career at Chelsea,” he told BT Sport.
“You look at the David De Gea situation and how he grew into the Premier League, this guy has been here in 18 months now and we need to see him improving in areas like crosses.
“He has seemed nervous, he backs onto his line too much. It’s hard to criticise him because there is nothing glaring but I think there is enough in his game where the question marks will be there.
“People will be looking at the money spent and asking if he is the man for the next four or five years. I just think teams are starting to target him by putting balls into the box and Kepa needs to address this.”
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also weighed in with his view, stating that the defence needs to be in a position where they have confident with the man behind them.
“What you need is a goalkeeper that breathes confidence through the defence. I played centre-back, you want a keeper that dominates that penalty box and who is assertive. Make a decision, come out and go for it,” he added.