Frank Lampard offers olive branch to Kepa and says Chelsea chances aren’t over

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has suggested that Kepa Arrizabalaga could still be his No 1 goalkeeper.

Kepa was dropped for the clash with West Brom following the arrival of Rennes shot-stopper Edouard Mendy last week.

Mendy wasn’t ready for the Hawthorns clash with Willy Caballero starting between the posts for Chelsea in the 3-3 draw.

Kepa has struggled at Stamford Bridge since the Blues paid a world-record fee to sign him from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

Many expect the Spaniard to leave the club following Mendy’s arrival though Blues boss Lampard has suggested Kepa will be given his chances.

Asked if Kepa has played his last game for the club, Lampard said: "No, I won't go to that point.

“It’s been a difficult time for Kepa, I think that’s well documented. I know it and he knows it. But we should certainly not jump to that conclusion.

“What I’ve felt quite strongly about over the last week is that he’s a young man, and a lot of the spotlight on him has become slightly unfair.

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“I have to protect him because I know he's a good lad who plays with absolute professionalism and intends to do the best he can.”

Mendy could be handed his debut in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham after making a good first impression in training.

“Mendy has settled in very well and he’s been made to feel welcome, as we do with any new player coming in,” Lampard added.

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“It’s all very positive and he’s a good goalkeeper, he comes in and he will add that strong competition that we require in each position.”

Chelsea take on Tottenham before returning to Premier League action next weekend as they take on London rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime.

The Blues have won one, lost one, and drawn one of their first three league games of the season.

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