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‘Kepa must be pressure free so he can enjoy playing his game’

Kepa, Chelsea
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Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a difficult season for Chelsea so far, but a former Chelsea goalkeeper has backed him to come good in due time.

Kepa has been unduly under pressure and would come good for Chelsea when he starts enjoying his game, as per former Blues goalkeeper Kevin Hitchcock.

The shot-stopper became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper after joining the club in 2018, but has struggled in goal under Frank Lampard.

Kepa was dropped by Lampard for five games and was replaced by Willy Caballero, before eventually returning for two appearances before football was suspended.

And Hitchcock, who spent 10 years at Chelsea, believes Kepa is under much pressure because the Blues have had a good record of goalkeepers.

However, he believes the goalie is still young and still has time to come justify his price tag at the club.

“Chelsea have been lucky to have Carlo Cudicini, Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois for years,” Hitchcock told Goal. “They’re finding it a little bit difficult to replace these top-quality goalkeepers.”

“The goalkeeper they’ve got at the moment is young and have a £71m price tag around his neck – he’s not having it easy. Every mistake you make is magnified into a big one. I would let him play and find a way to enjoy it.”

“If you put the guy under so much pressure then it isn’t easy for him to be free – let him do what he’s good at and I think he will be okay. 

“He’s still just 25. He’s young and he’s going to make mistakes. He just needs to only make mistakes that don’t cost Chelsea games. That’s the goal for any ‘keeper.”

Recent reports still claim Lampard is in the hunt for a Kepa replacement in the summer but we’ll have to wait till then to see how that plays out.