Chelsea told to replace one player after club blew ‘almost £100m’ on problem position

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea must replace Arrizabalaga
Cesar Azpilicueta is one of the best Premier League Spaniards ever. Kepa is not

Chelsea have been told that Spain international Kepa Arrizabalaga needs to be replaced when the summer transfer window opens later this year.

Arrizabalaga became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when Chelsea signed him from Atletico Bilbao for around £70m in 2018.

The 28-year-old has been heavily criticised over the past few seasons as he has been unable to live up to expectations at Stamford Bridge.

He lost his place to Edouard Mendy for a while and the Senegal international shone as Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021.

Mendy has been out of action for the past few months as a result of a shoulder injury. Arrizabalaga has played in his place and his performances have generally improved, but the Spaniard has been criticised after he made a mistake in the 2-2 draw against Everton last weekend.

Recent reports have indicated that Chelsea will try to sign Illan Meslier from Leeds United this summer.

Ex-England goalkeeper Ben Foster does not think Arrizabalaga is the “right guy” for Chelsea.

“Let’s talk about Everton’s equaliser because I think Kepa should save it,” Foster said on his YouTube channel. “A top goalkeeper saves that.

“This is a big moment, we’re in injury-time so if he saves that, it’s 2-1, three points, boom, everyone is happy. These are the fine margins but I think a top goalkeeper has to save that.

“It’s a slightly awkward one so I’ve got a bit of sympathy but you need to make those big saves. He fell a little bit short. I don’t think Kepa is the right guy for it, full stop. I don’t think he’s the long-term solution.

“I think at the end of the season either Mendy will get fit and get back in the team or they will need to go into the market and sign somebody. They spent £70m on Kepa by the way and £25m on Mendy, that’s almost £100m on goalkeepers.”

Arrizabalaga is back in the Spain squad for this international break. He has admitted that he “worked to turn” his career around at Chelsea.

“I have gone through a more complicated period, I had never stopped playing in my life and I had to play fewer minutes. I had to face it, I decided to come home with a calm head and feeling that I had given everything and it was the first step. I worked to turn it around,” Arrizabalaga said.

He added: “I had the option of using it (the situation) to improve and having more time without games gives you more time to work on yourself, on the details that you did worse.

“I see it as something positive, within a not pleasant situation. I took each game as a great opportunity. Now the coach trusts me every weekend and I try to take all that in which I have improved day by day.”

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