Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been told to reconsider putting more trust in the under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Arrizabalaga has failed to live up to expectations since swapping Athletic Bilbao for Chelsea in 2018 for a record-transfer fee paid for a shot-stopper (€80million).
An average of 1.24 goals conceded per Premier League match and just 22 clean sheets in 69 league appearances for the Blues have made the 25-year-old a highly unpopular figure at Stamford Bridge.
The Spaniard’s blunders and lack of form have seen many Chelsea fans call the club to axe the goalkeeper and make a move for either Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak or Ajax’s Andre Onana.
Lampard used the second-choice Willy Caballero more frequently down the final stretch of the 2019/20 season, fuelling speculations of Arrizabalaga’s summer departure.
But, the former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes the English manager should follow the example of Manchester United, who refused to turn their backs on David De Gea.
De Gea had a rough time settling at Old Trafford but has eventually managed to repay the club’s trust by being elected the Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year three times.
Jenas offers his opinion
Jenas thinks Arrizabalaga has what it takes to replicate his compatriot success in the Premier League and asks Lampard to give the Spanish goalkeeper another chance.
“I just feel like I want to see another year,” Jenas told BBC Radio 5 Live, as relayed by Express Sport.
“It’s not even so much another year. I want to see what he’s like with a better defense in front of him.
“Yeah, he’s made some mistakes, but we looked at David De Gea when he first arrived in the Premier League, and it took him a while to adjust to things.
“There has to be a goalkeeper in there somewhere. You don’t pay £75m for no reason, so he’s obviously got the ability and the talent.
“I just feel that I’m waiting to see him with a strong defense.
“Sometimes you just need that leader in front of you. I don’t think there’s that leader at Chelsea at the minute.
“They’re all on a similar playing field, so get a leader in front of him, see how he reacts to that, and then I’ll be able to give you more of a yes or no in regards to keeping him.
“Right now, I’d stick with him, work on my defense, and try and tighten things up that way.”