Dropping Kepa could make him stronger – Lampard


The 25-year-old was dropped for the 2-2 draw against Leicester but could return for Monday’s clash against Manchester United

Frank Lampard believes Kepa Arrizabalaga could come back stronger after the goalkeeper was dropped from the Chelsea starting XI.

The Spain international, who joined the Blues for a world record fee in 2018, was left out of the first-team for the 2-2 draw with Leicester before the winter break.

The 25-year-old has come under pressure for some underwhelming performances, while the Blues are considering a move for Ajax star Andre Onana to replace him.

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Monday when they host Manchester United and Lampard has not said whether or not the former Athletic Club shot stopper will feature.

But the former midfielder says all players should expect to be dropped in their careers and warned Kepa that the only way back into the team is through hard work.

“That is the reality of life, of football, of our careers,” Lampard said at a press conference on Friday.

“Everyone has these things and you can’t pull the wool over their eyes or be too sweet about it, because it is what it is. The only thing I ever found that got me back into the team or through a moment was hard work on the training ground.

“If you are going to sulk and if I ever did sulk, I would quickly try to readdress that myself and realise that I can only affect one thing, and that’s how I train to be ready to play.

“I was fortunate as a player here because I played a lot of games. Probably in my early 30s it slightly changed, and at the time I didn’t like it, I remember the feeling. But then you have to be a team-mate, and you have to be part of the club and you have to accept it, and sometimes you have to find another way, and understand that things are slightly different.

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“That was just my story, everybody is slightly different, but with the competition in squads now I do think you always have to be aware that if your standards drop or if the manager chooses for whatever reason, and that can happen, and handle it in the right way.

“I don’t expect smiley faces when people get dropped, I just expect reactions, I expect support of the team-mates there.

“It is not easy, I’m saying this as a manager, I know as a player I was not brilliant at this myself, but from where I am sitting now I try and push that, and I think sometimes it can be something that makes you stronger. Most people get it at some point in their career. So it is what it is.”


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