Chelsea backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero has backed number one Kepa Arrizabalaga to stay at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa has endured a turbulent second season as Chelsea’s first choice keeper. Frank Lampard dropped him on two occasions for the more experienced Caballero.
The world’s most expensive goalkeeper has responded, though, and started all but three of Chelsea’s games since the return from lockdown.
Nonetheless, rumours of a departure from Stamford Bridge for Kepa persist. Reports earlier this week claimed that Lampard was actively looking to offload the Spaniard, perhaps even on loan.
But teammate Caballero, who deputised for him on 12 occasions this season – including in the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester United – thinks Kepa is still well equipped enough to be a long-term success for Chelsea.
“Of course I hope he stays,” said Caballero, who could be in goal again for the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday.
“I have known him for two years. Last season was very good for him. This season there were some other things happening, but last year was fantastic.
“He is still the number one goalkeeper for Spain, and is a great goalkeeper.
“We have a great relationship – first of all because we speak the same language.
“We work together well in training. It was the second time that Frank left him out, but in terms of our relationship he has been very good.
“He has been behind me, helped me with everything in the games that I have played.
“That’s all I can say about Kepa. He has shown me and all of us a great face, even in the worst moments for him. That is so professional from him.
“The way that he worked during those weeks and in the last week, he was excellent.”
Kepa remains under contract until 2025, by which time he will be 30. Caballero recently extended his own deal, committing his future until the end of next season.