Tag Archives: kepa

Chelsea plans swap deals with Atletico ‘Kepa-Oblak’

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Chelsea have reportedly made Jan Oblak their No 1 goalkeeper target this summer and would be willing to send Kepa Arrizabalaga to Atletico Madrid as part of any potential deal.

Kepa has endured a difficult season with manager Frank Lampard said to be losing faith in the Spaniard.

And The Mirror claim the Blues are now actively looking for a replacement.

The report says Atletico star Oblak has emerged as the first-choice option with a player-plus-cash deal being targeted.

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Oblak, 27, has a £120m buy-out clause in the contract he signed last year, which expires in 2023.

The Slovenian has come to be regarded as one of the best keepers in the world over the past few years and it would take a huge offer to prize him away from the Wanda Metropolitano.

The Spanish club would not have considered selling but the effects of the pandemic could see them consider a substantial offer, particularly if it sees them gaining a replacement like Kepa.

Kepa has struggled with the physical nature of Premier League football and has not instilled confidence in Chelsea fans.

The 25-year-old was signed for a huge £71.5m but has not managed to live up to the price tag and, Lampard even dropping him earlier in the campaign to give Willy Caballero a run of games.

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Sevilla plots perfect time to sign Kepa

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Sevilla are reportedly interested in signing Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan to end the goalkeeper’s Chelsea misery.

The Spaniard has struggled to justify the £71.6million fee Chelsea paid for him in 2018, with Frank Lampard less than impressed with his performances this season.

Kepa’s latest showing did little to convince his boss he is the right man to fill the no.1 role for a title challenge next season, as he was found wanting for two of West Ham’s goals on Wednesday.

Lampard is now reportedly eyeing up new targets to replace Kepa, but must first work out a way to at least get him off the wage bill.

The Sun report that Sevilla have now emerged as as a potential destination for the 25-year-old.

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With finances tight across the board, a permanent transfer looks unlikely this summer.

A temporary move back to Spain could suit both parties though, providing Sevilla are willing to cover at least the majority of Kepa’s salary.

That could prove difficult, given Kepa is among the top earners at Chelsea on a £150,000-per-week contract.

One solution could be for Chelsea to charge Sevilla a substantial loan fee, but allow for a reduction in his wage payments.

Valencia are among the sides keen on signing Kepa, but the same financial scenario applies.

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That would go against Chelsea’s normal transfer policy, but facilitating Kepa’s return to La Liga would give him an opportunity to regain his confidence.

Whether he would still have a role to play at Stamford Bridge beyond that is uncertain though.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has been continually linked with a move to The Blues this summer, and his arrival would all-but end Kepa’s time at the club.

Lampard is already calling on former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech’s expertise to find a new no.1.

Cech – who now works as a technical adviser at the club – played a key role in sealing a transfer for Timo Werner, and The Telegraph claim he has now been tasked with finding a replacement for Kepa.

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De gea started just like Kepa – Green

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Kepa Arrizabalaga’s situation at Chelsea can be likened to David de Gea’s early days at Manchester United, says Robert Green, with another Spanish goalkeeper being backed to come good in time.

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The Red Devils showed considerable faith in a young goalkeeper when prising De Gea away from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

A steep learning curve was endured by a fresh face at Old Trafford, with the physicality of the Premier League proving too much at times.

De Gea was, however, to find his feet and eventually become a model of consistency for United – one with four Player of the Year awards to his name.

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A fellow countryman is hoping to tread a similar path after suffering similar struggles on the back of his own big-money move to England .

Chelsea made Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper on the planet when snapping him up from Athletic Club for £71 million ($90m) , but have seen questions asked of the 25-year-old’s ability and attitude.

Green, who worked with the Spaniard at Stamford Bridge before hanging up his gloves in 2019, believes a promising shot-stopper will prove his worth if shown the same level of patience as De Gea was afforded.

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The ex-England international told talkSPORT: “Kepa’s got a long-term contract at Chelsea and I’d like to see him there.

“It’s a bit like how David de Gea was at the start of his United career.

“He was absolutely destroyed at the start and now it’s one of the best things that’s happened to him in the last decade.”

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Kepa briefly slipped out of favour under Frank Lampard in the middle of the 2019-20 campaign, with Willy Caballero filling in between the sticks, but a return to form and favour was enjoyed before football shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Green believes further progress will be made once competitive action resumes, with there still plenty of potential for Chelsea to unlock in a player they have invested considerable faith and funds in.

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He added: “Kepa’s brilliant with his feet. It’s one of those ones where he was always going to have a little downturn in form because he played so many games (54) last season.

“But he had that little spell out of the team this season and then came back in the FA Cup and got man of the match against Liverpool, which might have done him a favour, just mentally.

“I think because of the price tag the expectation has been far greater.

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“Everyone’s been waxing lyrical about [Dean] Henderson at Sheffield United, Kepa’s not that much older than him [23].

“But because there’s this huge price tag on his shoulders, you’re thinking that he’s the finished article. I wasn’t the finished article at 25 as a goalkeeper and I don’t think Kepa is either.”

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Kepa: The best Hazard has yet to be seen in Spain

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Kepa Arrizabalaga and Eden Hazard were teammates at Chelsea in the 2018/19 campaign, so the Spanish goalkeeper got to see the Belgian’s wizardry on a daily basis.

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However, injuries have hampered Hazard since he departed Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid last summer, but the 29-year-old remains a superstar in Kepa’s eyes, as he revealed during an interview with MARCA.

Let’s talk about Hazard, an ex-Chelsea man. Would you put him at the same table as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

I don’t know if he’s up with them, because of the numbers both have put up for so many years, but it’s close. He’s a great player. The best Hazard has yet to be seen in LaLiga.

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A lot of injuries…

Injuries come when they come. They can’t be controlled. Last year, with us, he barely had an injury. Hopefully, with health, we can enjoy him next season.

In Spain, you are always remembered for your possible move to Real Madrid in January 2018. How do you remember that?

It’s been a couple of years now. I was coming towards the end of my contract with Athletic [Club] and several big clubs became interested. It was a compliment that teams aiming to win the world’s top trophies were interested in me. But things happen when they have to happen. At that time, it didn’t happen and I’m comfortable with the decision I made to finally renew with Athletic.

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For the first time in your career, you made the front pages. What did you learn?

It was a great way for me to grow up. It’s true that I was quite introverted; I didn’t want to listen or talk too much. Even my grandmother told me that she saw me more on the front pages than in person.

Do you think you should have come out and said something at that time?

There was so much talk… I decided not to talk until I had made up my mind. Once I had renewed, I went on record.

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Do you believe the theory that Zinedine Zidane rejected you because of a report that said you were weak in the air?

I don’t know. I never heard that theory. I’m not aware of it, evidently.

Do you rule out ever going back to a big LaLiga Santnader team?

Now I’m very happy at a great club, Chelsea, which allows me to enjoy the Premier League.


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‘I want to win everything with Chelsea’ – Kepa is not looking to leave Blues

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Kepa Arrizabalaga has outlined his ambitions to “win everything with Chelsea” while insisting he still enjoys the full “confidence” of head coach Frank Lampard.

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Chelsea forked out a world-record fee of £72 million ($90m) to bring in Kepa from Athletic Club in the summer of 2018, after seeing first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois complete a move to Real Madrid.

The Spain international was, however, able to force his way back into Chelsea’s starting line-up at the beginning of March, recording clean sheets in an FA Cup win over Liverpool and a 4-0 top-flight victory against Everton.

Kepa remains fully focused on his duties at Stamford Bridge despite his struggles in 2020 and says there is no rift between him and Lampard, who has always shown a great level of trust in his abilities.

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“The relationship with Frank is very good,” the former Athletic Club No.1 told Marca.

“He has shown me confidence from the first moment. He must make decisions, but I feel I have his confidence, both his and that of the whole club. We all like to play in every game.

“It is true that, in the last 10 years, Chelsea is the English team that has won the most titles, and I think we should have that ambition.

“In fact, I came here for that and in the first season, we already achieved the Europa League. We have a young team.

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“Then came the penalty of not signing players (the transfer ban) but you have to keep fighting for titles. I want to win everything with Chelsea and with the national team.”

Kepa added on the “obstacles” he has overcome at Chelsea in recent months: “We play 50 or 60 games a year and it is difficult to stay on the same level.

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“The important thing is to be very clear about the objective, to work and put everything into improving. There may be obstacles along the way, but when you have a clear objective, it is easier.

“The only thing that can be done, in these cases, is to take it professionally, respectfully and work harder to turn it around.”

No firm dates for the resumption of Premier League football have been set amid the ongoing battle against Covid-19, with Great Britain still in a state of lockdown.

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The Belgian Pro League, Ligue 1 and Eredivisie have already cancelled their seasons, but it has been suggested that English football could restart in June behind closed doors.

“It is difficult to talk about dates, the players cannot control that,” Kepa added on the state of affairs in the top flight. “In Germany, it is seen that the teams are already training together; in France, it has been suspended.

“We are waiting and it will be decided with the health of everyone in mind. If the Premier returns soon, it will be a good sign that the pandemic is being controlled.”


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Chelsea Aims André Onana As Kepa’s Replacement


Chelsea have been boosted in their hunt for a new number one goalkeeper to replace the struggling Kepa Arrizabalaga, with suggestions that highly rated Ajax stopper André Onana is interested in joining the club.

Chelsea paid a word record fee of £71.6m for Kepa in 2018, but the Spaniard’s form has been poor this season and he was benched by manager Frank Lampard for the 2-2 draw against Leicester at the weekend in favour of veteran deputy Willy Caballero.


Kepa Arrizabalaga

Lampard was rumoured in mid-December to have asked Chelsea officials to scout him a new goalkeeper, with the 41-year-old thought to be generally unimpressed by Kepa following a number of mistakes in recent months.

Onana – who has risen to prominence as a key part of an impressive young Ajax side – seemingly considers it an opportunity, and Goal has reported that Chelsea is the Cameroon international’s ‘preferred destination’ this summer.


The 23-year-old is said to think that the Premier League would be ‘ideal’ and sees the uncertainty surrounding Kepa at Stamford Bridge as an opportunity to make his ambition to play in England a reality.

The Daily Mail carries a similar story on Onana and his eye on Chelsea. The newspaper also notes that he would be interested in joining Tottenham, but Chelsea remains his preference.


Andre Onana
Onana has also been linked with Barcelona, where he previously spent five years in the youth ranks after being spotted at Samuel Eto’o’s academy in Cameroon. It is said that Ajax might prefer to deal with Barça owing to their historic relationship, but goalkeeper is far from a priority at Camp Nou.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have recently been linked with Burnley’s Nick Pope to replace Kepa, as well as Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson.

While Goal says that no decision has been made on whether Kepa will definitely be cut loose, it is explained that a final decision on his future will be made by technical adviser Petr Cech and head of goalkeeping Christophe Lollichon, in conjunction with Lampard.


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