Sunday, July 3, 2022

Chelsea Receive Offer To Sell Their Star Goalkeeper: Should Tuchel Let Him Go?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Fichajes, Lazio have approached Chelsea for Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Italian giants, coached by Maurizio Sarri, have identified the goalkeeper as an ideal replacement for Thomas Strakosha, whose contract expires at the end of the season. The report does not disclose the exact value of the offer, but it appears Sarri is keen on reuniting with the Spaniard in Roma, offering him an opportunity to revive his career.

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Downfall At Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga was the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea in 2018 for a fee of €80 million. The move turned out to be a disaster, as the former Athletic Bilbao star endured a disastrous debut season in England, making multiple defensive errors and struggling to live up to his potential.

Chelsea did give him the opportunity to revive himself in the following campaign. But while Kepa made 33 Premier League appearances, he wasn’t able to get rid of sudden errors, appearing way too incompetent in between the sticks. It compelled Chelsea to splash the cash on a new goalkeeper in Eduoard Mendy.

Since then, Kepa has spiralled down the deep end, struggling to re-establish himself as a first-choice goalkeeper for Chelsea. However, Mendy, too, deserves credit for his impressive performances that helped Chelsea win the Champions League last season. The player was later voted as the competition’s goalkeeper of the season.

Mendy’s rise to prominence saw Kepa being restricted to just 14 competitive appearances, six of which came in the FA Cup. The Spaniard’s poor fate has continued this season as well, with the goalkeeper making just one appearance so far.

Lazio have approach Chelsea for Kepa Arrizabalaga - Time to go?
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 19, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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Should Chelsea Cash In On Kepa?

Offloading Kepa Arrizabalaga could be a step in the right direction for Chelsea as they look to move on and plan their future with Edouard Mendy. The former Rennes shot-stopper has shown enough quality to become the ideal man for the Blues, in between the sticks.

Not to mention, the club did bring in Marcus Bettinelli in the summer, who is good enough to serve as the second choice behind Mendy. It could allow Chelsea to cash in on Kepa, whose hefty wage packet does restrict the club’s financial powers to an extent. As such, the sale could serve as a financial boost for the club, helping them out in funding their own targets in the market.

From a sporting perspective, it is apparent that Kepa has no future at Stamford Bridge. Therefore, a move to Lazio could bode well for all parties involved, as the Spaniard looks to redeem himself under former coach Sarri. However, it remains to be seen whether the Italian giants meet Chelsea’s desired valuation for the goalkeeper.

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