Ex-Chelsea goalkeeper backs Kepa Arrizabalaga

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has spoken out in support of beleaguered Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Begovic played for Chelsea between 2015 and 2017 and said that Arrizabalaga, who’s lost his place at both club and international level, “has to be strong”.

“He has to be strong,” Begovic said in quotes carried by Diario AS. “That’s the life of goalkeepers. It’s a shame because he’s made some very good saves.”

Begovic currently plays for Bournemouth and is a Bosnia and Herzegovina international. He’s also played for Portsmouth and Stoke City in the Premier League. He won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2017.

Kepa joined Chelsea for a fee in the region of €80m, becoming the world’s most expensive goalkeeper. His game, however, has been so littered with errors that coach Frank Lampard has brought in Edouard Mendy to replace him.

“If you spend a lot on a signing it doesn’t mean that it’s going to work,” Begovic said. “There are many factors in each transfer that have an impact.”

Can Kepa recover from this slump and prove his critics wrong? “Possibly,” Begovic said. “Kepa is a very good goalkeeper and has played well in Spain before coming to Chelsea.

“He has very good qualities and I’m sure he’ll be a success, whether at Chelsea or somewhere else. When you have those qualities it’s only a matter of time until everything turns in a positive way.”

Born in Ondarroa, Kepa came through the youth system at Athletic Club, becoming a pivotal part of their team after loan spells at Ponferradina and Valladolid. He joined Chelsea in the summer of 2018.

Kepa won the Europa League with Chelsea as well as the U19 European Championship with his country back in 2012.

The Basque was included in Spain‘s squad for the 2018 World Cup but has recently slipped to third in the pecking order for the national team, behind Unai Simon and David de Gea.

Featured image courtesy of Eurosport.

Tags Athletic Club Kepa Arrizabalaga La Liga La Roja Spain