Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot believes Kepa Arrizabalaga could struggle to get his place back in goal with the Blues.
The Spaniard was dropped to the bench by Frank Lampard for Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Saturday, following criticism of the goalkeeper in recent weeks.
It was a big decision that attracted plenty of attention, with questions over Kepa’s replacement Willy Caballero and his decision making after Leicester’s second goal at the King Power Stadium, which was scored by Ben Chilwell after the Argentine left this goal to try and claim an overhit cross, before struggling to get back into position when the ball was put back in.
Lampard defended Caballero after the game, but he now has a big decision to make for Chelsea’s next game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge after the winter break.
And Melchiot said it would not be an easy decision for the Blues head coach, as he gave his assessment of the Spaniard’s current situation.
“I think Frank took a long time. I mean he assessed it for a while, looked at his goalkeeper who is one of the most expensive goalkeepers, and you looked at his performances,” he said, speaking on Sky Sports.
“The downside for Kepa, and the sad side for Kepa, is that the defensive line has also been questioned for some time.
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard with Kepa Arrizabalaga. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
“Now [Antonio] Rudiger has come back, maybe Frank thinks ‘ok, I now have a main focus point there, I need my goalkeeper to be solid.’
“He can’t have a liability and a goalkeeper waiting to turn corner for him.
“I was at the game a couple of months ago when Ajax turned up and he conceded a goal from a free kick and I looked at him and thought ;what’s going on?’
“The decision making and not making the right adjustment, that wasn’t good enough for me.
“I don’t want to say that Kepa is not…