Willy Caballero has defended under-fire keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and said he wants him to stay at Chelsea this summer amid speculation he is resigned to leaving.
The struggling Spaniard, who earns around £150,000-a-week, has received a considerable amount of criticism after another underwhelming season for Chelsea.
Frank Lampard appears to have lost faith in No 1 Kepa having dropped him for recent games while Caballero is expected to start between the sticks for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal in his place.
However, 38-year-old veteran keeper Caballero, believes Kepa should be given a chance to prove his worth under Lampard after struggling to gain the bosses’ trust since his appointment.
‘Of course I hope he stays,’ Caballero told The Daily Express.
‘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 No 1 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 is however reported to be readying himself for a departure this summer and is not expecting to feature in Chelsea’s Champions League tie at Bayern Munich on August 8.
It is understood the 25-year-old is prepared to take a pay cut to end his nightmare spell in England with Sevilla, Valencia and Atletico Madrid possible landing spots for him.
Transfer plans to replace Kepa are already well under way with reports this week claiming the Blues have made an offer for Barcelona shotstopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Andre Onana, Dean Henderson and Jan Oblak are also options for Chelsea.