Kepa Arrizabalaga will make his first Chelsea appearance since October when Krasnodar visit Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Hakim Ziyech will miss out.

The world's most expensive goalkeeper made an error resulting in a goal in each of his three Premier League appearances this season and has been usurped by new signing Edouard Mendy.

Mendy has proved a stellar signing for Chelsea, having kept nine clean sheets in his first 13 appearances for the club. He also has the best Champions League save percentage (93.8) among keepers to have featured at least three times this season.

With Chelsea guaranteed to advance from Group E in first place, Lampard will take the opportunity to give Kepa another chance in the first team.

"Kepa starts. As I always say about the team it is about attitude and how you approach the game," said the Blues boss. 

"Obviously, his situation is different because goalkeepers have to be patient when they're not starting games and generally with Mendy's form he's been a very regular pick for me easily.

"But this game is one for Kepa, who is training brilliantly well and acting brilliantly well. These periods will happen in a player's career and sometimes they make you stronger and better at the other end, so I have no qualms about putting him back in.

"He has been very supportive [of Mendy]. I have seen that. I watch from afar and he has been supporting him – quietly, as is his right – and is training well. That's what I look at. Goalkeepers have to push each other as a group, and I see that. His reaction has been spot on."

Lampard assured he is not being pushed to ensure Kepa gets time on the pitch given the £71.6million fee Chelsea paid to sign him from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

Asked if there was pressure on him to play the Spaniard, he replied: "There's no pressure. The pressure is to win games and I have to do the right thing game by game.

"Mendy has made himself a permanent fixture because with the pressure to win games you have to pick people in form. But the game tomorrow is a chance to give Mendy a rest and give Kepa a game."

Ziyech will not feature against Krasnodar, however, having lasted just 30 minutes of Chelsea's 3-1 win against Leeds United on Saturday.

Lampard has no long-term concerns about the Morocco international's fitness after he missed time at the start of the season with a knee problem.

"He is going for a scan this afternoon so I will have more information tomorrow on his hamstring injury. He's out and Callum Hudson-Odoi is also out, he had a hamstring problem in training," he said.

"I think [Ziyech] was looking good. The injury was looking great. I hope it's a minor injury. Long-term I am not worried about him at all."

Lionel Messi continues to dominate headlines.

While Messi decided to stay at Camp Nou, Manchester City are reportedly still trying to prise the superstar from Barcelona.

Could he be set for a mid-season switch?

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TARGETED BY CITY

Manchester City are expected to make a bid to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in January, according to The Sun.

Messi was tipped to join Pep Guardiola's City after handing in a transfer request at the start of the season, however, he opted to stay at Camp Nou.

City, though, have not given up on signing the six-time Ballon d'Or winner – who has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

ROUND-UP

- What does the future hold for Sergio Ramos? The Real Madrid captain is out of contract at season's end, and the likes of Juventus, PSG and Manchester United have emerged as possible destinations. Should Ramos leave the Santiago Bernabeu, Diario AS claims Bayern Munich star David Alaba could arrive as a replacement at Madrid. Alaba is also wanted by Juve, Barcelona and City.

- Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is desperate for a loan move and is willing to take a pay cut to secure a short-term exit, reports The Sun.

- Eurosport says Chelsea are eyeing a future move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham, who only swapped England for Germany at the start of the season. Bellingham is seen as an alternative to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Inter are keen to make head coach Antonio Conte happy by exchanging Christian Eriksen for PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes and swapping Matias Vecino for Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik in the New Year, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Christian Pulisic will not return for Chelsea until after the international break as he continues to struggle with a hamstring problem.

Frank Lampard revealed in midweek that a scan had only shown "very minor" damage for the United States international, who sustained the injury in the warm-up ahead of last weekend's 3-0 win over Burnley.

The Chelsea boss was initially positive about Pulisic's recovery but confirmed on Friday he had stopped training this week due to ongoing discomfort.

Pulisic will consequently be unavailable for Saturday's meeting with Sheffield United in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, and his absence means Chelsea will be without one of their most potent attacking weapons.

Since football returned in June, Pulisic has attempted more shots (28) and completed more dribbles (19) than any other Chelsea player in the top flight. He has also been involved in a team-high six goals (four scored, two assisted) in the competition, level with Olivier Giroud and Willian.

"Pulisic is not fit to play. He's still suffering with his hamstring. He's not [training] at the moment," said Lampard.

"To be clear, he trained at a low level in midweek when I made those quotes and he wasn't comfortable, so we have to keep looking for the right solution."

Lampard confirmed that Kepa Arrizabalaga will be in the squad this weekend as he continues to recover from a shoulder problem.

"He [Kepa] has recovered, he's still getting a slight bit of pain but he's in the squad for tomorrow," said the Blues boss.

Timo Werner replaced Pulisic in the starting line-up for the Burnley game and the Germany international has played more minutes for Chelsea this season than any other player.

Lampard hopes to be able to grant Werner – who has been involved in four goals in his past three Premier League games – a rest soon and would not clarify if that will come against the Blades.

"I'm not going to give the team away, but I think it was clear with the Burnley game I was planning on giving him a rest. It was more because I had options and the journey to Russia and back," said Lampard.

"Timo's played a lot of games, but at the beginning there's always a balance in my job of players that are playing well and enjoying it, finding their way in the team and making relationships and feeling the league if they're new to the league, and I think that's been a big deal for Timo.

"I've been happy with that point. As we look forward, I will try to manage those minutes to keep him as fresh as I can, but at the minute he's going well, so we'll see."

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta insisted he had "no doubt" goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga would bounce back.

After several mistakes by Kepa, Chelsea signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes in September, but the Senegal international suffered a thigh injury earlier this month.

Kepa returned to the starting XI against Southampton on Saturday, but made another error as Chelsea drew 3-3.

Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Sevilla, Azpilicueta backed Kepa to respond.

"In football we have difficult times. In my position as a captain, obviously Kepa, I know him from a long time ago, I always try to help him," the defender told a news conference.

"And it's true that it's difficult and sometimes you feel like everything goes against you. You have to have the character and personality to face it and to work hard. I have no doubt Kepa will work hard and give everything to reverse the situation.

"The whole squad are fighting for targets as a collective and we need everybody.

"When you are a goalkeeper it’s a completely different situation. But I don't have any doubt he will keep working hard and giving his best."

Chelsea are eighth in the Premier League after earning eight points from their opening five games.

When Frank Lampard was questioned over Chelsea's poor defensive record in his tenure as manager, he suggested his goalkeepers were to blame.

Ahead of Tuesday's home game against Sevilla, which will kick off the Blues' Champions League campaign, it was put to Lampard that his side were conceding enough goals for him to rank him among the club's worst bosses ever in that category.

Indeed, Chelsea have conceded nine goals in their first five Premier League games this season – three coming in Saturday's 3-3 home draw with Southampton – and leaked 54 in the 2019-20 top flight, more than any other team to finish in the top 10.

"I'm aware of the stats and the other stat is we have conceded second least shots," said Lampard.

"That helps to narrow down the issue. It's something we are aware of with our recruitment and on the pitch with the players to make sure we set up well.

"We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment."

As Lampard referenced with recruitment, Chelsea hope the signing of Edouard Mendy for around £22million from Rennes can solve their goalkeeping issues.

But is the statistic he cites correct and to what extent can the other keepers, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero, be blamed for the club's woeful defensive record? We have used Opta data to find out...

CHELSEA RANK HIGHLY IN PREVENTING SHOTS

Since Lampard took charge at the start of last season, Chelsea have conceded 89 goals in 62 games across all competitions, an average of 1.44 per game.

Of the 17 sides who played in the Premier League last year and this year, that puts Chelsea in the bottom half (11th of 17).

The best two records, by comparison, are held by the two Manchester clubs, with City (61 in 65) and United (63 in 67) both averaging 0.94 goals conceded per game. West Ham are the worst, with 1.58 (79 in 50 matches).

But, as Lampard suggests, there is a significant difference when it comes to shots faced.

Taking all competitions into account, the Blues have faced 590 shots across their 62 games, an average of 9.52 per game.

That ranks third of the 17 teams, only narrowly behind Manchester City (7.34 shots per game) and Liverpool (9.46), with Leicester City (9.76) the only other team facing less than 10.

Of the shots Chelsea have faced, 215 have been on target, an average of 3.47 per game which ranks fifth of 17. 

So, Chelsea have been reasonably effective in limiting the shots they face and the attempts their keepers have to save.

However, 15 per cent (89) of opposing teams' shots have resulted in a conceded goal and by that metric, Chelsea are worst of all 17 teams.

The best is Arsenal (eight per cent) and Manchester United also rank in single figures (nine per cent), so it seems Lampard has a point that his goalkeeping is the primary concern.

KEPA STATS MAKE ABYSMAL READING

Delving deeper into Opta's advanced goalkeeper metrics, we can look at expected goals and how their keepers rank in the goals prevented statistic.

Unfortunately, it makes abysmal reading for Kepa. 

There were 43 shot-stoppers who played a Premier League game since Lampard took charge of Chelsea and Kepa ranks last in goals prevented differential.

In his 36 league matches for Chelsea since Lampard took charge, Opta's expected goals system projects the Spaniard should have conceded 39.21 goals. The actual figure was 51, giving him a goals prevented ratio of minus 11.79.

For context, the next worst of those who played at least 25 matches in that time period, were England duo Nick Pope (minus 4.31) and Jordan Pickford (minus 4.17).

Caballero also has a negative differential (minus 3.73), conceding nine Premier League goals from his six matches when his expected figure was 5.27.

The best goalkeeping performance in that time has come from Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris (plus 9.87 goals prevented), closely followed by Martin Dubravka (plus 8.57), Dean Henderson (plus 8.35) and Vicente Guaita (plus 7.97) – with those four ranking well clear of the rest.

As a team, Chelsea have conceded 63 in the league since August 2019, while the expected figure is 44.74, their minus 18.26 differential being far and away the top-flight's worst.

Southampton are next worst at minus 9.91, while the best record is held by Sheffield United, who conceded 46 when they were expected to concede 56.59, giving them a plus 10.59 ratio.

The poor goalkeeping is highlighted further when looking at Chelsea and their big six rivals.

Chelsea (44.74), City (44.34), Liverpool (44.67) and United (46.61) all rank similarly for the Premier League goals they would have been expected to concede since the start of last season.

By contrast, Arsenal (62.73) and Tottenham (62.72) rank more poorly.

However, the actual figures show Chelsea (63) conceded the most of the big six, more than Arsenal (54) and Spurs (55), who were boosted by the positive differentials and fine performances of Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez and Lloris.

City (42) fared best, with Ederson (plus 4.47) ranking well, while Liverpool (46) United (48) finished up relatively close to their expected figures, all highlighting just how badly Chelsea have been let down between the sticks compared to their nearest competitors.

Chelsea will hope Mendy, once fully fit and settled, can resolve their goalkeeping woes, as it is clear the data backs up Lampard's statement.

Frank Lampard told his Chelsea stars they "should have done better" as they threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Southampton at Stamford Bridge. 

Two terrific first-half goals from Timo Werner had put Chelsea on the front foot in the Premier League clash, but the hosts allowed Danny Ings to saunter through their defence to cut the deficit just before the interval. 

Out-of-sorts goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, in for the injured Edouard Mendy, made what is almost a customary clanger and was punished in the second half as Che Adams equalised for Southampton. 

Kai Havertz looked to have won it when he restored Chelsea's lead, but Theo Walcott's stoppage-time shot was helped in by Jannik Vestergaard to give Southampton a point. 

Chelsea spent lavishly on Werner and Havertz during the transfer window but central defence remains a big problem, and with veteran Brazilian Thiago Silva missing for Saturday's game, the partnership of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen looked far too fragile. 

Head coach Lampard said of the outcome: "I am frustrated and the players are. The first half was as good as we have played this season, we got two goals and could have scored more. 

"You know if you concede late in the half it changes the game. It's disappointing."

Chelsea indeed did impress for 40 minutes, but the drop-off that followed was alarming. 

Lampard added: "They made it difficult in the second half, but we should have done better." 

He brought in Mendy from Rennes because the frequent errors from Kepa were proving so costly, and it was an all-too-familiar set of circumstances involving the Spaniard in this match. 

By timidly going into a challenge with Adams, Kepa found himself losing the ball and soon picking it out of his net. 

Although the goalkeeper made a number of decent saves, notably denying Ings as Southampton pushed forward late on, the mistakes are an element of his game that have become a constant. 

"He has to be strong enough," Lampard said. "That is what it is like in elite sport and goalkeepers have to deal with that. It's a shame, because he made some good saves. 

"It's a mistake we should have dealt with and if you are going to concede those types of goals then it's not something we can have in our game." 

The goals from Werner pleased Lampard at least, with the former RB Leipzig striker getting off the mark in the Premier League on his fifth appearance. 

"They were really good individual goals and he looked sharp. It's great for his confidence and we'll see a lot more of that," the Chelsea boss said.

Theo Walcott marked his first Southampton appearance for almost 15 years by setting up the late equaliser that secured a dramatic 3-3 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

German stars Timo Werner and Kai Havertz scored their first Premier League goals for Chelsea, but there were familiar failings in the home team's ranks and Frank Lampard's men were punished.

Chelsea were thrilling going forward at times, with Werner, who also had a goal disallowed, netting twice before setting up Havertz for what looked set to be the winner.

But between Werner's double and Havertz's strike it had been the same story for the Blues' defence, with Danny Ings and Che Adams taking advantage, and Walcott's shot from the edge of the penalty area in stoppage time was nodded in by Jannik Vestergaard to pinch a point.

Chelsea will be without Edouard Mendy against Southampton but head coach Frank Lampard is excited to have Hakim Ziyech available at last. 

Goalkeeper Mendy suffered a thigh injury on international duty with Senegal and will be unavailable for Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge. 

Lampard must now decide whether to start Kepa Arrizabalaga, who played in Spain's 0-0 friendly draw with Portugal, or veteran Willy Caballero. 

Thiago Silva will also miss out but there is better news in attack, with Christian Pulisic in line for his second league game of the season and Ziyech finally ready to be in the squad nearly three months after arriving from Ajax. 

"Mendy won't be fit for the match tomorrow," Lampard told reporters on Friday. "We hope the injury's not too long. 

"Thiago Silva, after his trip, he's not unfit but he's not ready to play the game because of the travelling and the game he played, so he won't be in the squad.  Ben Chilwell is in the squad, so he's got over some of the feeling which took him out of the England squad around the injury that he's had for a while.

"Christian Pulisic is in the squad and fit to play. Hakim Ziyech is in the squad, not fit to start but fit to participate some minutes, we hope. 

"He's worked so hard, he's been fantastic in terms of his professionalism to get fit and he looks really good in training. 

"It's match fitness. I've got a really open relationship with him to know where he's at and how I feel about it, so it's just game minutes we need now.

"But yes, of course, I'm excited to get him in and around it to bring what we brought him to the club for, which is to create chances for us, to be the talented player that we saw at Ajax and I look forward to seeing him play." 

Defender Antonio Rudiger is also vying for game time, having played all three of Germany's recent matches despite having not yet made an appearance for Chelsea this season. 

"Every player can play their way into the starting XI, the squad, that's in every player's hands," Lampard said. "That's how I try and work here: things I do are always for the best for the team, for the club, because we're trying to get results every week. 

"Players all know that and the beauty of the window now being shut is we can get to work, know what the squad is, everyone knows they can contribute, and we'll need them and rely on them because of the amount of games we play. 

"Toni's the same as every player on that one."

Kepa Arrizabalaga is feeling confident within the Spain squad after putting aside his struggles at Premier League giants Chelsea for the time being.

Kepa became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Chelsea from LaLiga outfit Athletic Bilbao for a reported £71.6million (€80m) two years ago.

However, the 26-year-old's unreliable form in the past year saw his place come under threat and he has now seemingly been usurped as Chelsea's number one goalkeeper by new signing Edouard Mendy.

Kepa played in Spain's 0-0 friendly draw with Portugal on Wednesday and produced a confident display, gathering a few set-pieces and making a fine late save from Trincao.

Afterwards, Kepa admitted to a sense of ease with the national team due to the faith shown in him by Spain head coach Luis Enrique.

"I've felt confidence, at ease. I think it was a good game and I'm happy with the confidence of the coach," he told Teledeporte.

"When I'm needed to help on the pitch, I try to do the best possible."

"It was a game of great intensity. [We had] more control in the first half. In the second, we found it more difficult to control Portugal's transitions. It was a good test.

"We have to be happy. We stood up today. We have to improve because we conceded a few clear chances, which you can pay for in a tournament."

Spain controlled the first half but Portugal were by far the more threatening in the second in Lisbon.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches each struck the underside of the crossbar with thunderous efforts and Joao Felix should have won the match late on, the Atletico Madrid star failing to turn in Ruben Semedo's glancing header.

"We started better, but as the game progressed, we lost control," striker Rodrigo Moreno told Teledeporte.

"The draw isn't an unfair result. The pace dropped as the match progressed. We had little time to train, [and] the games are very demanding.

"We have to give a little more to keep on this good path. We have to keep working and be protagonists with the ball."

Kepa Arrizabalaga acknowledged he is "not in the ideal situation" at Chelsea but is confident he can turn things around.

Chelsea signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes for a reported £22million after Kepa made an error leading to a goal in each of the Blues' opening two Premier League games.

Even though Mendy was not in condition to face West Brom in the first game following his arrival being confirmed, Kepa was dropped for Willy Caballero.

The Spain international, who Chelsea made the most expensive keeper in the world when they signed him from Athletic Bilbao two years ago, has spent the past two games on the bench.

Kepa was linked with a loan away from Chelsea before the transfer window closed on Monday, but he is sure he will soon rediscover his best form.

"I feel good, strong and confident," he said. "Maybe I'm not in the ideal situation, but you have to go through things like this during a career.

"I am confident that I can turn the situation around. When I have the chance to play, I'll try to do so as well as possible.

"Obviously, all footballers want to play, but I'm just thinking about the day to day, not the medium-term or long-term."

Spain boss Luis Enrique has been impressed by Kepa's work ethic on international duty despite his struggles with Chelsea.

"I've spoken to him and I think he is doing good," Luis Enrique said.

"He knows that what has happened isn't the end of the world.

"This is a moment to see what he is made of and I think he's doing good, as he is happy, motivated and training very well with us."

Spain take on Portugal in a friendly on Wednesday before Nations League meetings with Switzerland and Ukraine on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard praised Edouard Mendy following his debut for the Blues in their EFL Cup loss to London rivals Tottenham as Kepa Arrizabalaga watched from the bench.

Mendy made his first Chelsea appearance after leaving Rennes in a reported £20million deal last week and impressed, despite Tuesday's 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat in the round of 16.

Starting ahead of embattled team-mate and the world's most expensive goalkeeper Kepa, who was dropped for the 3-3 Premier League draw at West Brom as Lampard turned to Willy Caballero, Mendy produced a good save to thwart Sergio Reguilon in the second half.

Discussing Mendy's performance at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Lampard told reporters: "I thought he was very good. I think he made a couple of good saves, one particularly good save.

"He came and caught a few balls, even the one he comes for and doesn't catch, the idea that he wants to and be positive isn't a bad thing. Very, very pleased with every part of his game really."

Erik Lamela's equaliser cancelled out Timo Werner's first-half opener for Chelsea in normal time as penalties were needed.

Werner – a high-profile signing from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig – struck his first Blues goal 19 minutes into the contest before Tottenham's Lamela drilled past Mendy with seven minutes remaining.

The first nine penalties of the ensuing shoot-out were converted before Mason Mount clipped the outside of the left post with the 10th, allowing Spurs to progress.

"Listen, I don't think 'a shattering blow' is what it should be, I know it was a disappointing night to get knocked out of the Carabao Cup," Lampard said. "Mason will have many more nights for this club and for his country where he'll play in games of huge importance and he'll be the deciding factor in a positive way.

"So no, Mason's got my support at all times, and the team's, and everybody around it. You miss a penalty, it's a collective when you get this far in a game like this."

Lampard added: "We were dominant and you want to score more goals at that point because of the amount of possession and chances. Callum [Hudson-Odoi] had a good chance for us in the first half.

"I think probably Tottenham would have felt that, they would have felt that hard and they changed their game and went longer in their build, which meant our press, which had been fantastic in the first half, wasn't so relevant up the pitch. They turned us round and made us run backwards rather than being able to press forwards. And then it becomes really difficult, to be fair to the lads.

"We could have been better in the second half and maybe dealt a bit better with that physical nature of Tottenham's game but it slightly changed the case of the game but I think even so, they had some chances second half and so did we and at 1-0, one more goal finishes it for us and we didn't get that."

Frank Lampard feels the intense spotlight on Kepa Arrizabalaga has been slightly unfair as he revealed the goalkeeper may yet play again for Chelsea, despite the arrival of Edouard Mendy.

Kepa was first choice to start the new season but lost his place after the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, during which he made a crucial error to allow the reigning Premier League champions to double their lead at Stamford Bridge.

Willy Caballero was selected on Saturday against West Brom, where Chelsea fought back from 3-0 down at half-time to salvage a point, while Mendy has joined from Rennes to add further competition.

The new signing may push Kepa further down the pecking order, though Lampard has praised the Spain international's professionalism in training since being dropped.

"I certainly wouldn't go to the point as far as saying he [Kepa] has played his last game for Chelsea," Lampard told the media ahead of Tuesday's EFL Cup clash with Tottenham.

"It's been a difficult time for Kepa, that's well documented. I know it and he knows it, but we certainly shouldn't jump to that conclusion. 

"Also, and I've felt quite strongly about this in the last week, there is also the understanding that Kepa is a young man, and a lot of the spotlight on him has become slightly unfair. 

"I have to protect him because I know he's a good lad. He's playing with absolute professionalism and attempting to do the best he can, as all the squad have to."


The Chelsea boss revealed Mendy has quickly settled into life at the club and is in the squad to face Spurs, along with another new recruit in left-back Ben Chilwell, who made his bow off the bench in the last round against Barnsley.

However, Hakim Ziyech is not quite ready for a debut in the midweek London derby. Christian Pulisic is also unavailable, though the winger is nearing a return to action for the Blues.

"It's all very positive, the early signs and interactions, as a man and also on the training pitch," Lampard said of Mendy, who cost a reported £20million fee.

"He settled in very well in those few days and we've made him very welcome, as always.

"It's competition. He's a good goalkeeper and we know a lot about him. We will see how we go."

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been dropped for Chelsea's clash at West Brom as Willy Caballero starts and Thiago Silva makes his Premier League debut as captain.

Spanish goalkeeper Kepa gifted Sadio Mane a second goal with a terrible mistake in Liverpool's 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge last Sunday and looks set to be on his way out of the London club.

Caballero came into the side for the 6-0 EFL rout of Barnsley in midweek and retains his place, with Kepa on the bench.

The signing of Edouard Mendy, who is not ready to start, from Rennes on Thursday made it clear that Kepa does not appear to be in Frank Lampard's plans, with reports he could be set for a loan move.

Silva made his Blues bow against Barnsley and will play in the English top flight for the first time in place of Kurt Zouma - who is not among the substitutes - at the Hawthorns, where he will lead Lampard's side

Jorginho drops to the bench, while striker Tammy Abraham also comes into the side.

Frank Lampard believes the arrival of Edouard Mendy at Chelsea can help push Kepa Arrizabalaga, though the Blues manager did not rule out the possibility of the Spain international leaving.

Kepa was entrusted to start the Premier League season, but Chelsea have been in pursuit of another goalkeeper throughout the window.

Mendy arrived this week in a £22million transfer from Ligue 1 club Rennes, with Kepa having made a calamitous error in Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend.

While Mendy will not start against West Brom on Saturday, Lampard did not confirm whether Kepa would play, and also did not close the door on the world's most expensive goalkeeper potentially leaving on loan.

'There's no clarity on that one yet, about what will happen, and I'm not going to speak about the maybes of what might happen in the future," Lampard told a news conference when asked if Kepa could be loaned out. 

"I think the most important thing right now is the game this weekend, in which Mendy won't be involved in. I'll have conversations with all the goalkeepers and be very open about it and we'll see the way to move forward.

"I'm not going to talk about who starts because I need to speak to the goalkeepers themselves and I'd much rather it be a conversation I had with them rather than they read it from yourselves.

"I think with the dynamic of the goalkeepers, we know we've had problems in the goalkeeping area in the first two games of the season and at times last year. We know that and I think we can be very honest and open about that, and Kepa is in that search for the best performance levels.

"Mendy comes in of course to be big competition in that area. Now it's about how we move forward, about trying to get that performance level as best as can be."

Mendy has followed in the footsteps of Chelsea great Petr Cech, who joined the club from Rennes in 2004 and now serves as the Blues' technical and performance advisor.

Recently, Cech has also been out on the training pitch with the goalkeeping unit.

"I think a combination of both," Lampard said when asked if Cech was coaching or simply keeping himself fit. 

"With Petr, he has so much to give on that side of things. Obviously his day job here is to be technical advisor and he's a great help to me on that front.

"I think having Petr train with the goalkeepers and bring his experience is a great thing because he still has great quality. I think he retired pretty young to be fair. So he's training and keeping fit, which I think is healthy for him and the goalkeepers in the squad and that's as far as it goes. I've got absolutely no problem with it.

"It's something that I think is positive for the goalkeepers as a whole and Petr enjoys doing it, so why not give back and give that experience to the goalkeepers."

Edouard Mendy is not in contention to start for Chelsea against West Brom on Saturday, Frank Lampard has confirmed.

Chelsea this week paid a reported £22million to sign goalkeeper Mendy from Ligue 1 side Rennes.

The 28-year-old is expected to take over from Kepa Arrizabalaga, who the Blues made the most expensive keeper in the world when they signed him from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6m in August 2018.

Kepa has made two errors leading to goals in as many Premier League appearances this season, though, but will not be displaced just yet.

"To start tomorrow is not going to happen," Lampard said when asked if Mendy was in contention to start at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

"He's had a long week where he hasn't really trained, flew in yesterday and it just feels like too tight of a turnaround to put him in contention to start the game."

Asked if he had spoken to Kepa since Mendy's arrival was confirmed, Lampard replied: "I haven't spoken to Kepa since then no. The announcement came and we trained and I didn't see Kepa, but I will have a conversation with him and Willy Caballero over the next 24 hours or so.

"I have a very open line of communication with both of them. It's important as goalkeepers, they have their own small union in the training ground because of the nature of the way they work together.

"It needs to be a very positive feeling between the goalkeepers and I'm sure there will be. There's good competition there now, we know that and it's how we move forward."

Chelsea also secured deals for Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Ben Chilwell prior to the 2020-21 season.

Antonio Rudiger and Jorginho have consequently been linked with exits from Stamford Bridge, but Lampard was giving nothing away on their futures.

"I don't expect anything in the window, because they're our players and that's a fact. There are lots of rumours about them and others," said the Chelsea boss.

"Every player will always be a case-by-case solution, that would be a happy solution for the player, the club and myself. Yes, we have a big squad, we know that, but at the moment players remain ours and we'll see as it goes on."

Lampard was similarly guarded when questioned on whether Declan Rice could be bought from West Ham before the transfer deadline on October 5.

"Again, they're rumours. I can't talk about these things but I know it's your job to ask," he said.

"When players are ours it's not my position to speculate on what may be because that's not my job, and the same on the other side with players that are playing for other clubs.

"We have a game against West Brom. My biggest thing is about getting the squad ready for that game."

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