Frank Lampard looks to be wanting a new goalkeeper come the summer transfer window after current Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga dip in form.
The Spaniard has performed below par for the Blues this season and was recently dropped at the weekend for veteran Willy Caballero in Chelsea’s recent fixture against Leicester City.
The 25-year-old moved to Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 for £71.6m, a current world-record transfer for a goalkeeper. His first season at Stamford Bridge saw the Blues lift the Europa League and Kepa performed heroics in the earlier rounds especially in a semi-final penalty shoot-out against Eintracht Frankfurt. However, a dramatic dip in form this season has seen the Spaniard obtain the worst save percentage record of all the goalkeepers in the Premier League this season.
A worrying statistic for any goalkeeper and a manager chasing a top-four finish. If his form doesn’t change come the end of the season, Chelsea boss Lampard will be looking for a new goalkeeper in the summer as he looks for reassurance between the sticks.
If Chelsea were to move Kepa on, it is more than likely they wouldn’t receive anywhere near the funds they splashed out to bring the 25-year-old to the club. But, if it were to happen, who could fill the void in the goalkeeping department?
Nick Pope (Burnley)
Perhaps the most reasonable of all the options on Lampard’s wish list and Nick Pope is a perfect replacement for Kepa with valuable Premier League experience. He is Burnley’s first-choice keeper and has seen off competition from fellow England colleagues Joe Hart and Tom Heaton who ended up moving to Aston Villa for limited game time.
At 27-years-old, he has a bright future ahead of him and is in contention for the number one spot for England at this summer’s Euro championships. If Chelsea showed real ambition to bring Pope to the club, the fee wouldn’t be as astronomical to the one they previously paid for Kepa. But, his performances this season will mean that Burnley will demand a substantial fee for their number one.
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)
Another England goalkeeper who Chelsea could move for in the summer is Dean Henderson. The Sheffield United shot-stopper has had another brilliant campaign for the Blades and fits the bill perfectly in what Frank Lampard is implementing at Chelsea.
The 22-year-old is on loan from top-four rivals Manchester United and they might not want to sell what they see as a future England number one to one of their main rivals. Also, Henderson could be seen as David De Gea’s long term successor at Old Trafford, but if Chelsea were to move for Henderson, it would be a difficult deal to get over the line.
Andre Onana (Ajax)
The one name who isn’t playing in the Premier League is Ajax keeper Andre Onana. His fine displays in last season’s Champions League for Ajax saw them reach the semi-finals. Onana joined the Dutch side in 2015 from Barcelona’s youth set-up and is currently Cameroon’s number one.
A goalkeeper who shows confidence every time he is between the sticks and delivered some commanding displays and has carried on doing so this season. Lampard will already know about Onana’s ability as Chelsea faced Ajax on two occasions in the Champions League this season and was a standout performer in both fixtures. His addition would give Lampard a great option in goal, good with his feet and still has his best goalkeeping years ahead of him.
Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United)
The final goalkeeper that Chelsea may set their sights on. He initially joined Newcastle on loan in January 2018 before making the move permanent that summer, has been a key player for the Magpies, with the Slovakian winning the North East Football Writers’ Association player of the year in 2018.
The 31-year old has continued his form this season too, with Dubravka a key figure for Steve Bruce’s side, with some vital saves for the Magpies. Similar to Nick Pope, if Chelsea identified the Slovakian as their number one target this summer, Newcastle will demand a hefty fee if they were to move their prized asset on.
All these goalkeepers mentioned would be great additions to Chelsea football club. Some will demand a substantial fee in order for their clubs to part ways with their number one stoppers. But, it all depends if Kepa has the full backing from Frank Lampard and now is the time for the Spaniard to improve his form when he is next selected.