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Frank Lampard sends clear message to under-fire Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga


Kepa Arrizabalaga has failed to justify his world record transfer fee since his move to Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Frank Lampard has challenged Kepa Arrizabalaga to grasp the opportunity and cement his place as an all-time Chelsea great amid ongoing uncertainty surrounding his future.

Chelsea spent a world record fee for a goalkeeper when they paid Athletic Bilbao £72million for the Spain international last summer, but he has been guilty of a number of high-profile errors.

Lampard dropped the 25-year-old earlier this season and although he has regained his place from veteran Willy Caballero, his form has remained indifferent, while Chelsea continue to be linked with a string of top class goalkeepers.

Manchester United’s Dean Henerson, who has excelled while on loan at Sheffield United, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Atletico Madrid Jan Oblak, considered to be the best in the world at present, have all been linked with potential moves to Stamford Bridge.

On Wednesday, Kepa will come up against Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, the Brazil international who has been so pivotal in the champions’ over defensive improvement, and comparisons will inevitibly be made.

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Asked what he wants from his goalkeeper ahead of clash that pits the two most expensive goalkeepers in world football against one another, Lampard said: ‘What do I value in a goalkeeper?

I think clearly you want them to be able to be as talented to keep balls out of the net, it’s old school but obviously the first and foremost job of what a goalkeeper keeps close to their heart, the idea of clean sheets.

‘It’s not always solely on them, of course. For a keeper to have a real desire and talent to produce that. But in the modern day they are even more involved in the play than ever, to use their feet to be a personality, to be an all-round goalkeeper which you see with top level goalkeepers in the world.

‘We are fortunate at Chelsea where we can certainly say goalkeepers were part of huge eras at the club.

‘That has to be Kepa’s desire to be that person for this club and be goalkeeper in his own right and he can say he is a huge part of a successful team. It’s not just on Kepa that. But in his own way that’s what he has to believe and work towards.’

MORE: Frank Lampard tells Callum Hudson-Odoi how to win back place at Chelsea

MORE: Dean Henderson wants £100,000-a-week contract extension at Man United amid Chelsea links

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