Under-fire Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will be “wondering if he is still a goalkeeper”, says Frank Leboeuf, with the former Blues defender claiming the Spaniard “should see a shrink”.
The most expensive shot-stopper in world football has been thrust back under the microscope of late.
Questions were asked of his ongoing value to the Stamford Bridge cause last season, with Frank Lampard taking to favouring Willy Caballero between the sticks at times.
Kepa has come back into favour, and started the 2020-21 campaign as first choice, but his days as the Blues’ number one appear to be numbered.
A £22 million ($29m) deal for Rennes star Edouard Mendy was already being lined up prior to more costly errors being made.
Sadio Mane chased him down to block an attempted clearance at one stage, with the Senegalese going on to fire into an unguarded net.
Lampard has stopped short of ruling Kepa out of his future plans, but patience appears to be wearing thing.
Leboeuf believes that will be the case, with an out-of-sorts 25-year-old accused of losing his way in spectacular fashion.
The former Blues defender told ESPN FC of Kepa’s struggles: “He cannot play, his head is on another planet.
"He doesn’t feel football, he doesn’t even live football, he’s just wondering if he is still a goalkeeper. He shouldn’t play, he should see a shrink.
“It’s maybe the first mistake from Frank to keep putting Kepa in goal. The guy has lost his confidence completely.
“It reminds me of Fernando Torres. But when you’re a striker, you miss a chance and they give him another game. But with a keeper you make a mistake and you concede a goal.
“Comparing to Kepa, Mendy is much better than that and has had a very good season at Rennes and much better than Kepa.
"For that money, Mendy is a very good keeper, he’s much taller, very agile and better than Kepa at the moment.”
Kepa is not the only one to be facing questions at Chelsea, with another big-money signing – Germany international Kai Havertz – also struggling to convince.
Former Blues midfielder Craig Burley believes the 21-year-old playmaker will need to improve quickly in order to keep his place, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech among those set to come into contention once back to full fitness.
Burley said on Havertz: “I’m sure the lad is testing his fitness and finding his feet and surroundings.
“But he found himself on the field [against Liverpool] in a more central role with [Timo] Werner at times playing off the left and Mason Mount on the right, but again he was underwhelming.
“Not questioning his talent, but for the first two games he’s certainly a player that when Pulisic and Ziyech are fit, he’s going to be the one coming under threat because of his first two performances.”