Chelsea should consider signing Kepa replacement Frank Lampard raved about last summer
Chelsea are looking for a new goalkeeper to replace out-of-favour stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Spaniard has endured a tough time at Stamford Bridge and looks set to depart this summer while a host of potential replacements have already been linked.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard lost faith in Kepa last season, dropping the 25-year-old on two separate occasions in favour of 38-year-old veteran Willy Caballero.
Most tellingly, Lampard axed Kepa from the starting XI for the final game of the Premier League campaign with Champions League qualification in the balance.
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The Spaniard was then left out of the FA Cup final against Arsenal and it appears as if the world’s most expensive goalkeeper might have played his last game for Chelsea.
Kepa has struggled to live up to his £71million price tag, having arrived from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 with a glowing reputation.
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Chelsea have already accepted that they will make a loss if they sell the stopper this summer, but Lampard reportedly wants a fresh start between the sticks.
The Blues are therefore said to be listening to offers from £50m, but finding a buyer may prove difficult for club director Marina Granovskaia.
Jan Oblak is the west London side’s primary target as a replacement for Kepa, although Atletico Madrid do not want to sell their star man.
That means Chelsea would have to trigger the Slovenian’s £110m release clause, and such an outlay may be beyond the club considering their aggressive recruitment in other areas.
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The Blues have already spent £86.4m on Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner while they are expected to shell out another £50m on Ben Chilwell next week.
Negotiations are also ongoing with Bayer Leverkusen over a deal for Kai Havertz, with the 21-year-old costing somewhere between £70m and £90m.
Meanwhile, a new centre-back is being targeted and with so much spent on new arrivals, cash for a replacement stopper may be scarce.
Manchester United prospect Dean Henderson, Burnley ace Nick Pope and Ajax stopper Andre Onana are all more affordable alternatives but still unlikely to come cheap.
Nice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is the latest name to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but rumours are beginning to swirl about another established stopper who could be perfectly suited to the Blues.
Lampard was impressed with the performance of Yann Sommer during a pre-season friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach last summer, praising the Swiss international after the 2-2 draw.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website after the match, Lampard said: “I think we should have won. I was not happy with the first-half performance, we conceded two bad goals, one was our mistake, the other was a counter-attack, and we weren’t as we should be in the first half.
“At half-time, I asked for a reaction and the team gave a big reaction. We could have scored a lot more goals, their goalkeeper has been fantastic for them. I think we should have won but it was a very tough game, a good exercise for us against a very good team.”
At the time Bild claimed Sommer had been courted by Premier League clubs in the past and that Lampard’s comments suggested Chelsea may be interested in the 31-year-old again.
And with the Blues’ goalkeeping situation even more dire 12 months on, an approach for one of the Bundesliga’s most impressive performers could have been considered by the Blues hierarchy.
Monchengladbach’s captain is settled at the club after six seasons, recently signed a new contract keeping him at Borussia Park until 2023 and is hardly a long-term prospect at the age of 31, but Sommer still has plenty to offer Chelsea according to data highlighted by Football.London.
The stopper has the highest save percentage (76.1 per cent) in the Bundesliga and helped significantly undercut Monchengladbach’s expected goals against last term – 35 conceded compared to 40.47 predicted.
While Sommer is valued at just £8.55m by Transfermarkt, Football.London suggest that Monchengladbach will demand much more for his services due to the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis – but he could well be worth it.
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