Maurizio Sarri contacts Chelsea to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga in January
Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri contacts Chelsea to strike deal with Kepa Arrizabalaga in January
According to the Italian publication Il Messaggero (subscription required) [h/t The Metro], Maurizio Sarri has already called Chelsea to determine the possibility of luring Kepa Arrizabalaga to Lazio in January.
The Blues shelled out a record £ 71.5million at the time in 2018 to sign the 27-year-old from Athletic Bilbao. A relatively unknown prospect at the time, Kepa was part of the squad that won the UEFA Europa League before securing a 4th place under Frank Lampard the following season.
However, Lampard got Edouard Mendy through the door last summer after an unconvincing 2019/20 season for the Spaniard. The Senegalese dominated playing time last season and continues to do so this season.
So Italy manager Maurizio Sarri, who brought Kepa to Stamford Bridge after Real Madrid signed Thibaut Courtois, is now hoping to lure the Spain international to Lazio. The Italian currently has former Liverpool ace Pepe Reina as a number 1 but is apparently looking to strengthen in January. He has already called Chelsea to inquire about the possibility of arranging a move.
Should Kepa leave Chelsea?
Since Mendy joined the London club, the Spaniard looks much more at ease. He doesn’t have a lot of pressure to deal with and excels at cup competitions, especially when they go on penalties.
The former Bilbao goalkeeper won the UEFA Super Cup after his exploits against Villarreal in penalties as he has also won for us in the EFL Cup third and fourth rounds this season. Plus, he has a contract until 2025, and Lazio would know about it.
However, if they manage to come up with a reasonable offer, the Blues would do well to let him go. Despite all his confidence this season, Kepa still seems to have a mistake in him and is a risky option to have in the XI. The player’s ambitions must also be taken into consideration as the World Cup is less than a year away and regular playing time is the rule if a footballer is to be part of his national team’s final squad.
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So, if he doesn’t have a future as a starter at the club, it doesn’t make sense to keep him. He would also be a name removed from our salary list.
Either way, a January move would not be advisable for us as we could be in almost five competitions by February and his services could be needed towards the end of the commercial season. If Mendy is injured, there really is no other option but Kepa. And with the CAN scheduled for January, the services of the Spaniard would be necessary for us.