Kepa Arrizabalaga has been warned he is fighting to save his Chelsea career between now and the end of the season.
The Spaniard, 25, was signed for a £71.6million fee from Athletic Bilbao back in August 2018.
But he has struggled to adapt to some aspects of the Premier League, coming under the spotlight for his recent form.
He has the lowest save percentage from shots inside the box of any goalkeeper in the top flight and has been highlighted by some as a weak link.
And ex-Chelsea star Joe Cole claims the next five months will be “massive” for his career as he urged him to improve his ability to deal with crosses.
Speaking on BT Sport ahead of their game with Arsenal, Cole said: “I think the next five months are massive for Kepa’s career, and his career at Chelsea.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been warned he is fighting to save his Chelsea career
“You look at the David de Gea situation where he came into it, but he grew into the Premier League.
“This guy has been here 18 months now, and we’re going to have to see him grow into it, improve in areas like crosses.
“He has seemed nervous, he backs onto his line too much. It’s hard to criticise him because there’s nothing glaring, but I think there’s enough in his game where the question marks will be there.
“People will be looking at him now, with the money spent on him and asking, ‘is he the man for the next four or five years?’
Comparisons have been drawn with David de Gea’s early Premier League struggles
(Image: Getty Images)
“It’s nothing glaring, but I feel teams are starting to target him now, putting balls into the box.
“For him, if he wants a career at Chelsea, he needs to address his dealing with crosses.”
Rio Ferdinand added: “What you need is a goalkeeper who breeds confidence across that back line.
“I played centre-back and you need a keeper that dominates that penalty box, is vocal and…