Former West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster has called for Chelsea to consider replacing Kepa Arrizabalaga, following the Spaniard’s latest error in their 2-0 defeat to Everton on Monday.
Kepa, who joined Chelsea in a then-world record fee for a goalkeeper of £71m in 2018, was at fault for Everton’s second goal, allowing a tame shot from Gylfi Sigurdsson to slip through his grasp.
Foster, who made over 200 appearances for West Brom and played for Manchester United and Watford, believes Chelsea need to address their goalkeeping situation if they are to challenge for major honours.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Foster said: “Chelsea have got to address the goalkeeper situation. They need to buy a new one or give the chance to [Edouard] Mendy.
“He [Kepa] is a goalkeeper that needs an arm around him. He needs a confidence boost, and I don’t think he’s getting that at Chelsea.”
Kepa has been under pressure at Chelsea since his arrival, with a number of high-profile errors costing the team points. Last season, he was dropped by manager Frank Lampard and replaced by Willy Caballero.
However, Kepa has regained his place in the team under new boss Thomas Tuchel and has kept a number of clean sheets in recent weeks.
Foster, though, believes that Kepa’s latest mistake shows that he is not the right man to be Chelsea’s long-term number one.
He added: “He’s [Kepa] had his chance, and I don’t think he’s good enough for the top level of football. If Chelsea want to challenge for the title or the Champions League, they need a goalkeeper who can make those saves.
“I think he’s [Kepa] too fragile. He needs to be playing in a team that isn’t challenging for titles or in Europe, where he can rebuild his confidence.”
Chelsea currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham, and face a crucial clash against Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals next month.
Whether or not Tuchel will heed Foster’s advice and make a change in goal remains to be seen, but it is clear that Kepa’s latest error has once again put the spotlight firmly on Chelsea’s goalkeeping situation.
Ben Foster’s comments on Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performance have been echoed by many football pundits and fans alike, who believe that the Spanish goalkeeper’s costly errors have cost Chelsea valuable points this season.
Kepa’s struggles at Chelsea have been well documented, with the 26-year-old failing to justify his hefty price tag and struggling to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
Despite his recent run of clean sheets, Kepa’s mistake against Everton has once again raised questions over his long-term future at the club, with many believing that Chelsea need to bring in a new goalkeeper in the summer.
One potential option for Chelsea is Edouard Mendy, who was signed from Rennes last summer and has impressed in his first season at the club. Mendy has kept 16 clean sheets in 28 appearances this season and has been praised for his commanding presence in the penalty area.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not Thomas Tuchel will make a change in goal, with the German coach known for his loyalty to his players.
Speaking after the defeat to Everton, Tuchel refused to blame Kepa for the loss, saying: “We win and lose together, and it’s not about individual players making mistakes. We have to analyse as a group and improve as a group.”
Nevertheless, with Chelsea still in the hunt for a top-four finish and Champions League success, it is clear that they need to address their goalkeeping situation if they are to challenge for major honours.