Kepa Arrizabalaga was last seen between the sticks when Chelsea faced off with Liverpool and the keeper conceded five goals. It was a losing effort for the Blues and it is now dawning on the Spaniard that wearing No. 1 for Frank Lampard is unlikely to happen again.
The shot-stopper was dropped from the Blues' last Premier League game against the Wolves and it proved that Lampard made the right decision. Backup Willy Caballero kept a clean sheet in the match and the West London club scored a 2-0 win, and the victory also secured a Champions League spot for Chelsea next season.
For the Saturday match against Arsenal, Chelsea announced that Caballero will still play instead of Arrizabalaga. It appeared that Lampard wants to ensure a win and he is not betting on the regular keeper for the FA Cup finals showdown.
The Sun said Arrizabalaga seemed convinced he has lost the confidence of his manager and his time at the Stamford Bridge is practically over. The 25-year-old, acquired by Chelsea in 2018 for £72 million, is expecting to be offloaded in the summer.
Lampard had previously dropped the Spaniard from the squad in the season but this time the Chelsea star is not anticipating a return to the pitch in time for the Champions League showdown in August. It's the end of the road for him, Arrizabalaga admitted.
Getting Arrizabalaga to a new club might prove difficult due to the perceived financial loss that Chelsea stands to incur and the player's weekly wage of £150,000. However, to make things easier for Lampard, the Spaniard has expressed willingness to take a pay cut if the right project comes along, added The Sun report.
Former Tottenham star Jamie O'Hara said Arrizabalaga indeed is no longer wanted by Lampard and he advised that for a quick solution, the keeper can be loaned out so he can regain his confidence. Chelsea can then look for a buyer once the player has recovered his form. The ex-midfielder said Arrizabalaga is not a good fit for the English club.
"He's absolutely not good enough, for me. A complete waste of money," O'Hara told Talk Sport.
Meanwhile, speculations are rife that Lampard is checking on his shortlist for the permanent replacement to Chelsea's goalkeeper. The candidates that have been mentioned include Nick Pope of Burnley, Andre Onana of Ajax, and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid.
Signing Oblak, however, would mean that Chelsea will have to spend big so it's more likely that Lampard's side will settle first for the more affordable options with the hope that the recruit will develop to expectations over time.