Kepa Arrizabalaga endured another torrid evening between the posts for Chelsea, shipping another five goals in a damaging defeat against Liverpool.
The Spain international, the most expensive goalkeeper in history, has struggled to justify the £72million it cost to sign him from Athletic Bilbao nearly two years ago.
Frank Lampard took the 25-year-old out of the firing line earlier this season following a succession of less than convincing displays, but his form has hardly improved since he was restored to the starting line-up.
Although he could not be accused of committing any glaring errors at Anfield, his positioning for Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick goal was questioned by Joe Cole, while Jamie Carragher claimed Chelsea would be unable to progress and rival the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool unless they sign a new No.1 in the summer.
He said: ‘Chelsea won’t go no further unless they change their goalkeeper. Going back to how important goalkeepers are I look at this Chelsea team and there’s a lot I like about it, it does remind me in a lot of ways the position Jurgen Klopp was in a couple of years ago.
‘I still think Chelsea need a defender, you see how many goals they’ve conceded. I think a lot of that is down to the goalkeeper being totally honest.’
Chelsea have conceded a league high 16 goals from set pieces this season – Gini Wijnaldum was the beneficiary of more negligent defending last night as he lashed home his side’s third goal of the contest – and Kepa’s less than domineering presence has played a huge part in that dismal record.
His failure to command his area was highlighted during the closing stages against the champions when he was glued to his line as Andy Robertson teased a late free-kick into the penalty area.
The Chelsea keeper was motionless as the ball made its way to the far post where Virgil van Dijk was standing and although the Dutch defender missed the opportunity to extend Liverpool’s lead, the Blues’ defenders were less than impressed with their goalie’s efforts.
Several players could be heard screaming his name in anguish, while five players were pictured with their arms outstretched questioning his lack of assertiveness.
Prior to the game Lampard had challenged Kepa to demonstrate he had the force of personality to cement his status as the club’s No.1 amid speculation Chelsea are looking at the likes of Andre Onana and Jan Oblak to take his place.
He said: ‘We are fortunate at Chelsea where we can certainly say goalkeepers were part of huge eras at the club.
‘That has to be Kepa’s desire to be that person for this club and be goalkeeper in his own right and he can say he is a huge part of a successful team. It’s not just on Kepa that. But in his own way that’s what he has to believe and work towards.’
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