Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future at Chelsea is in severe doubt following a series of unconvincing performances this season.
The Spanish goalkeeper, who joined the Blues from Athletic Bilbao for a world-record £71 million in August 2018, has made high-profile errors in numerous games.
Kepa, 25, blew hot and cold during his debut season at Stamford Bridge under Maurizio Sarri last term.
Frank Lampard, who replaced Sarri last summer, gave Kepa the opportunity to prove himself this season.
But the 6ft 1in shot-stopper has failed to convince many at Chelsea over the course of the current campaign, including Lampard himself.
It was reported earlier this season that Lampard had instructed his scouting staff to identify potential replacements for the under-fire Spaniard.
And fresh reports from The Athletic - via the Daily Mail - reveal that Ajax’s £26 million-rated ‘keeper Andre Onana could be the man to replace Kepa at the Bridge.
Chelsea suffered a hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat away at Sheffield United on Saturday and Lampard’s post-match comments suggests some of his players - Kepa included, you’d imagine - are now in danger of the axe.
“I learned a lot today - I learned a lot that I won't forget,” he told reporters. “We might be outside the top four when we play again, but it's not about that right now - I'm more concerned about this performance.”
Over on FBREF.com, you can check out every Premier League goalkeeper’s save percentage from the current campaign.
And when you see where Kepa ranks among his counterparts, it’s easy to understand why Lampard is considering alternatives.
Let’s start with the best and work our way to the worst (note: only the goalkeepers who have made the most league appearances per club this season feature)…
1. Bernd Leno, Arsenal | 77.6%
2. Alisson, Liverpool | 77.1%
3. Dean Henderson, Sheffield United | 76.9%
4. Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City | 76.2%
5. Vicente Guaita, Crystal Palace | 72.6%
6. Ederson, Manchester City | 71.8%
7. David de Gea, Manchester United | 71.8%
8. Martin Dubravka, Newcastle United | 71.6%
9. Paulo Gazzaniga, Tottenham | 70.9%
10. Nick Pope, Burnley | 70.9%
11. Alex McCarthy, Southampton | 69.7%
12. Ben Foster, Watford | 68.5%
13. Matt Ryan, Brighton | 68.4%
14. Aaron Ramsdale, Bournemouth | 67.9%
15. Lukasz Fabianski, West Ham | 67.8%
16. Tom Heaton, Aston Villa | 67.7%
17. Rui Patricio, Wolves | 67.5%
18. Tim Krul, Norwich City | 65.7%
19. Jordan Pickford, Everton | 63.5%
20. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea | 56.5%
Unfortunately for Kepa, the numbers here speak for themselves.
Chelsea’s No. 1 has saved just 54 of the 93 shots he’s faced in the Premier League this term, conceding 42 goals in the process.
Lampard dropped Kepa in favour of Willy Caballero for a few games in February, but the Argentine back-up ‘keeper failed to perform any better than his teammate.
In order to seriously challenge for major honours, Chelsea either need Kepa to improve his performance levels or they require a new goalkeeper.
Just look at the impact Alisson, second in the Premier League in terms of save percentage, has had on Liverpool over the past couple of seasons.
A similarly shrewd purchase could help Chelsea close the gap between themselves and the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City next term.
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