This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Chelsea have exceeded expectations at the start of this season.
As it stands, they are third in the Premier League table, level on points with Leicester City just above them. Although they are eight points behind leaders Liverpool, they are still doing far better than some expected of them before the campaign kicked off.
There have been many stand-out performers in the side, such as second-top goalscorer in the Premier League, Tammy Abraham, and Willian, who was recently nominated for the top tier’s Player of the Month for October.
However, one of those who is struggling to reach the highest standards is Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Spain international joined the Blues for £71.6m, a world-record fee, last summer and, although he has not been absolutely terrible, he has still not justified that huge price tag.
Frank Lampard is even said to have been concerned with his form up until now, so much so that he is even looking to bring in 43-year-old Shay Given from Derby County to work with him. The 41-year-old knows the former 134-time Republic of Ireland international as he was part of his backroom staff at Pride Park last term.
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So far this campaign, the former Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper has a save percentage rate of just 54.1%. Of the regular goalkeepers for each of the clubs participating in the top flight, that is the lowest. It is also a rather large drop from the 67.8% he had last term.
Given, meanwhile, had a long career in the Premier League, and was a top number one. He was twice included in the PFA Team of the Year, whilst he also managed a save percentage ratio of over 70% in 13 top-flight campaigns. Not only that, he also has 116 clean sheets at the highest level, which is the 12th-highest since 1992 according to Transfermarkt.
Considering the years of experience he has, his know-how would be hugely beneficial to the 25-year-old who is currently between the sticks at Stamford Bridge.
Also, Lampard clearly trusts him having worked him before, meaning that he should be able to hit the ground running. It is a move that makes perfect sense for all involved.