New Chelsea signing Edouard Mendy has been warned Chelsea is not a good environment for goalkeepers, following his £22million arrival at Stamford Bridge.
But former England and Liverpool goalkeeper David James believes Mendy is unlikely to make a huge improvement to Frank Lampard’s team, as the club are to blame for their failures in between the sticks, not the players themselves.
Kepa has struggled in his two years with the Blues following his record £72m arrival from Athletic Bilbao, which lead to Lampard actively searching for a new goalkeeper this summer.
The 25-year-old’s performances last season came in for serious criticism, and his haphazard form has continued into the new campaign having conceded a weak long-range effort in Chelsea’s season opener against Brighton, and then made a huge mistake in the defeat by Liverpool last Sunday.
Those poor performances have surprised James, who said he scouted Kepa extensively before he moved to Chelsea and tipped him to become one of the Premier League’s best keepers.
And he has likened Chelsea’s troubles with his former club Liverpool before they signed Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson.
“I studied Kepa before he came to Chelsea and he fascinated me,” James told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“This guy was capable of making saves I hadn’t seen in the Premier League for a long time, top end stuff, proper, proper top end stuff.
“But then he would throw one in and I’d think, ‘OK, there’s a flaw here but if you get the right coaching and right environment for him, this guy could be the best goalkeeper in the Premier League’.
“But I don’t think Kepa’s had the protection at Chelsea, I think he’s been hung out to dry. If he doesn’t do something right, it’s wrong and he gets absolutely lambasted by everybody.
“And I’ve been in Kepa’s position, when I was at Liverpool I was that guy.
“In the end you have to look at yourself to see what you can do, but it’s also about whether you’ve got the environment…
“You spend £72m on a player, talk about an investment, then you’ve got to work out how much do you spend to make him better rather than, ‘you’re that cost, you should sort it out yourself or not make the mistakes’, which is ludicrous.
“With Kepa it just seems like confirmation bias; everyone doesn’t like him, so let’s get someone else…