Frank Lampard insists Kepa Arrizabalaga’s world record price-tag will hold no influence on his decision to reinstate the under-fire goalkeeper at Chelsea.
The Spain international has come under fierce criticism for his performances this season and was dropped for Chelsea‘s clash with Leicester prior to the winter break, with Willy Cabellero deputising in goal during the 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium.
Lampard would refuse to confirm whether the 25-year-old would return in goal ahead of the club’s crucial meeting against top four rivals Manchester United on Monday night, but says the goalkeeper has reacted well since being axed two weeks ago.
“The reaction has been good, as I’d expect. He’s been training hard, head down,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference.
“I haven’t had lots of conversations with him this week. It will be a decision for me to make.”
Chelsea would make Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper in history when signing the shot-stopper from Athletic Bilbao in 2018, though Lampard insists the player’s price-tag will play no part in any decision to reinstate the club’s number one.
“If it did then I’d have to pick the whole team on how much they cost, and it can’t be that way. All the players know that,” Lampard said.
“It’s not how you came to the club, what age you are, what part of your career you’re at. I’m not stupid; I know that it’s there.
“It’s all about how you train and how you play on matchday.“
Asked whether Kepa would return to the starting XI against Man Utd on Monday night, Lampard said: “I’ve decided. You’ll find out.”