With Chelsea and manager Frank Lampard still technically enjoying a winter break, they’ve apparently turned their attention to the goalkeeping situation. Lampard benched the most expensive keeper in the world Kepa Arrizabalaga against Leicester City in the final match before the break. In his place? The error-prone Willy Caballero.
Mark Brus of Caught Offside reports that Chelsea have not only decided on a replacement but have also won his signature. Beating out the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, the Blues can expect Ajax’s Andre Onana to join them this summer.
Ajax’s Andre Onana Linked With Chelsea to Replace Kepa
The 23-year-old Cameroonian joined Ajax in 2015 and has become their solid number one in recent years. Onana is the epitome of today’s keeper. Able to play out of the back, he can start attacks for teams as is all the rage. At the same time, don’t fall asleep on his shot-stopping ability.
Onana has seven clean sheets this season in the Eredivisie and has only conceded a total of 17 goals in 20 games. Although Ajax crashed out of the Champions League group stage, he managed three clean sheets in six matches.
Onana, like so many players at Ajax and in the Eredivisie before, has reached a point where it’s best to move on to bigger and better teams. After reaching a Champions League semi-final last season, he’s ready for a step up.
Andre Onana is the Pick of the Litter
Onana is one of the most sought-after keepers in the world at the moment. Last year, links between him and big clubs like Barcelona started to emerge. Ultimately, nothing came of it.
Now, those rumours are back. Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and several others want to bring in the Cameroon keeper, giving him all the leverage, and all signs right now point to Chelsea.
Sure, Chelsea are in the Champions League and look able to qualify for next year’s edition as well. Plus, they play in the Premier League, one of the best leagues in the world. And, of course, the west London side pay well. For Onana, this is perfect.
But to sweeten the pot even more, Chelsea have a practically vacant goalkeeping position, ready for Onana to fill.
Kepa’s Days Numbered
Chelsea’s current number one, Kepa Arrizabalaga, could very well have played his last game now for Chelsea. Frank Lampard benched him for the last Premier League game before the winter break and rumours have since come out that Lampard is fed up with his keeper.
Lampard sent a message to the Chelsea board by benching the Spaniard, making his intentions clear. For Onana, it seems as though he’ll walk right in and become the starter from day one.
As for Kepa, a return to Athletic Bilbao may be on the table. What is certain is that Chelsea will have to eat the lost transfer value for him. The Blues bought him for over £71.6 million two seasons ago and will have to salvage anything they can get for him.
For a club that waited until the last moment and missed out on signing in January, Chelsea look set not to repeat that by getting their business done early for the summer.