Football News

Chelsea urged to replace Kepa with Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak

By Harry Edwards

Published: 12:50, 15 March 2020

Chelsea should sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Graeme Souness.

Arrizabalaga joined Chelsea in 2018/19 and had a decent debut campaign, helping the club secure a top-four finish and win the Europa League, saving two penalties in the semi-final shootout against Eintracht Frankfurt.

However, the Spaniard has come under fire this season for bad performances and his poor save percentage, with Chelsea’s defence struggling under Frank Lampard.

Kepa Arrizabalaga vs Jan Oblak: Five things to know…

  • Kepa Arrizabalaga has been the subject of significant criticism at Chelsea this season.
  • The Spaniard has saved just 56.16% of the shots on targets he has faced in the Premier League this season.
  • He was dropped during February and replaced by Willy Caballero.
  • Graeme Souness believes Chelsea should look to sign Jan Oblak in the summer.
  • The Slovenian made nine saves in Atletico’s Champions League last-16 second leg win over Liverpool.

Arrizabalaga’s performances saw him dropped from Chelsea‘s starting line-up at the start of February and was forced to sit on the bench for all five games during the month, leading to doubts creeping in over his long-term future at the club.

He did return in Chelsea‘s FA Cup fifth-round tie with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win, during which he also earned praise for a triple save in the first half.

The Spaniard followed that up with another clean sheet against Everton as Chelsea won 4-0 in the Premier League, leading some to believe he had won his way back into Lampard‘s plans.

However, the Blues are still being linked with signing a replacement goalkeeper and cutting their losses on Arrizabalaga, who they made the world’s most expensive shot-stopper in August 2018.

And Souness believes Chelsea should try to sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Oblak to solve their defensive issues. The Slovenian was influential as Diego Simeone’s side reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the expense of defending champions Liverpool.

In the second leg at Anfield, Oblak made nine saves, more than any other goalkeeper in a single Champions League knockout stage game this season.

Speaking of Oblak’s performance at Anfield to Irish broadcaster RTE, Souness asked: “Do we know how old he is? (to which other pundits replied: 27) There you go Chelsea!

Chelsea are looking for a goalkeeper. He’s been a top man for a long time.”

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Simeone hails Atletico’s Messi

After Wednesday night’s heroics against Jurgen Klopp’s side, praise was high for Oblak, and no one placed higher emphasis on the goalkeeper’s importance than Atletico manager Simeone. Such was the level of the shot-stopper’s display at Anfield, Simeone dubbed Oblak as Atletico Madrid’s own Lionel Messi.

“He (Oblak) is as important as the others, as much as (Stefan) Savic, (Renan) Lodi, Felipe, (Joao) Felix,” he said.

“But in Oblak, we have the best goalkeeper in the world, that is true. He is as important to us, as Messi is to Barcelona.”