Frank Lampard has defended Kepa Arrizibalaga following the Chelsea’s goalkeeper’s mistake during the club’s dramatic 1-0 defeat to Newcastle at St James’ Park.
The Spanish international failed to deal with Isaac Hayden’s stoppage-time header, and while it was far from being a howler, it has increased scrutiny over the 25-year-old’s performances so far this season.
The Chelsea goalkeeper has the worst save percentage of any goalkeeper in the top flight with just a 55% success rate, a huge drop from Liverpool’s Alisson who leads the way for top-flight ‘keepers with a save percentage of 83%.
Despite that damning statistic Lampard has backed Kepa – who became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when joining the club from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6m in 2018 – and says the Spaniard has rescued his side on occasion this season with a series of fine stops.
“I will always defend all the players, goalkeepers hold their hands up as well. At times he has made good saves, at times he might feel he should do better,” Lampard told the media ahead of the visit of Arsenal on Tuesday night.
“I didn’t have a direct conversation with him. I am sensitive to the fact that they are under the microscope. It is the same for any player. I try to push them, like everyone.
“He is a good goalkeeper. There have been times that he has saved us points.”