Former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has backed Kepa Arrizabalaga to return to form and “prove everyone wrong”.
The Spaniard joined the Blues during the summer of 2018 for a fee of £71 million from La Liga club Athletic Bilbao. There were naturally heavy expectations on Kepa, especially as he was replacing Thibaut Courtois who was joining Real Madrid around the same time.
“I don’t think it’s gone to plan for everyone,” Begovic said to TalkSport.
“These situations are never straightforward. If you spend a big transfer fee it doesn’t mean everything is going to work out; there are a lot of factors into making a move work and making an impact at a club.
“Mendy has come in and done really, really well, I think he’s really solidified that position. He’s been impressive, he’s been a joy to watch to be honest and he’s someone I really enjoy watching.
“But can Kepa still prove everybody wrong? Possibly. I think Kepa is a really good goalkeeper, he played really well in Spain before his move to Chelsea and it’s obviously been a bit of a tricky time for him.
“He’s got really good quality and I’m sure he’ll be a huge success, whether it’s at Chelsea or somewhere else.
“When you have that equality it’s only going to be matter of time before things turn around for him again in a positive way.”
Kepa was never convincing in goal for Chelsea
Kepa has never been convincing in goal for the Blues. He has certainly never shown signs of emulating the heroics of his predecessors- Courtois and Petr Cech. He made several high-profile errors in his time as Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper. This prompted Frank Lampard to recruit Senegalese keeper Edouard Mendy. Mendy has since taken over as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper following his arrival. His performances have attracted praise from fans and pundits alike.
After sustaining a shoulder injury last month, Kepa has not even featured on the bench for Chelsea in recent games. His current situation has raised questions about his future with the Blues. The 26-year-old may want to leave the club in order to find first-team football elsewhere.
He was also tipped to potentially dislodge David de Gea as the first-choice goalkeeper of the Spanish national team. Kepa cannot afford to play second fiddle to Mendy at Stamford Bridge if he has hopes of usurping De Gea in the Spanish national team pecking order.