Chelsea coach aims dig at Tottenham captain Lloris

Matt Stead

Chelsea goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon has aimed a dig at Tottenham shot-stopper Hugo Lloris.

Lollichon has revealed that Alphonse Areola wanted to move to Stamford Bridge this summer, but the move never materialised.

Chelsea instead chose to replace Thibaut Courtois with Kepa Arrizabalaga, but Lollichon believes the opportunity to sign the cheaper Areola from PSG was overlooked.

“We spoke a lot in the summer,” he told Le Figaro. “He wanted to come here, but the final decision was not my responsibility.

“It would have been a pleasure to work with him.”

Areola finally made his France debut on Thursday against Germany, two months after winning the World Cup with Les Bleus.

Lollichon believes he should be his country’s first choice, as he is “above” Tottenham counterpart Lloris.

“I didn’t have to wait until Thursday to discover Areola. For me, he’s already the best French goalkeeper today,” he said.

“His size, his ball-playing qualities, his calmness – he’s the keeper most adapted to playing in the way of the team.

“We eulogise about Lloris too much, but Areola is above him.

“Against Germany, he was very good in his position and his ability to cut out balls behind his defence. It’s the base of any goalkeeper, but not everyone can do it as well. Alphonse is very pro-active.

“It’s sad to see a club like Paris play a 40-year-old goalkeeper while you have a 25-year-old Areola who meets all expectations. In Ligue 1, Buffon can play another one or two years, but in the Champions League be careful – it’s much faster and I’ve got reservations.

“Rotation among goalkeepers is ridiculous. Ask Petr Cech if he enjoyed being second choice with Arsenal in the Europa League last season. He was crazy!

“Alphonse will grow alongside Buffon, who can add to his game every day. But he must play, otherwise he’ll miss his chance.”