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'I am very lucky to have Lampard as a coach' - Kepa delighted to work under a Chelsea 'legend'

1:29 PM GMT+4 07/11/2019
Kepa Arrizabalaga Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019
The Spanish goalkeeper has expressed how grateful he is to be benefitting from the wealth of wisdom a former Blues midfielder has to offer

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga says he feels "very lucky" to have Frank Lampard as his manager, after an exciting start to the 2019-20 season at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard's side were slow out of the blocks in the opening weeks of the new campaign, but eight wins from their last nine matches across all competitions have seen the Blues emerge as serious contenders for a place in the Premier League's top four.

Chelsea currently occupy the final Champions League place on 23 points from 11 fixtures and have already opened up a six-point gap on fifth-place Arsenal.

A FIFA-imposed transfer ban left the Blues unable to bring in any fresh blood during the summer transfer window, but Lampard has promoted a number of academy stars into senior roles in order to inject new life into the starting XI.

The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have all benefitted, with supporters now optimistic that Chelsea can re-emerge as a major force in England and Europe if they continue on their current trajectory.

Kepa is happy to offer Lampard all the credit for the team's recent progress, insisting a "positive dynamic" has been instilled into the squad.

"He is a coach that was, and he is a legend in the club," Arrizabalaga told SNTV. "He was a very important player during his football career.

"Now he is in his second year as a coach but he is sharing all his experience. Everything he knows about football, and everything he has lived, gave to Chelsea, and the titles he won with them like the Champions League, the Premier League and all the possible trophies.

"I am very lucky to have him as a coach."

The Blues fought back from 4-1 down to earn a 4-4 draw against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday, a result which leaves them well placed to qualify for the last-16.

Kepa acknowledges there is still plenty of room for improvement but feels the Chelsea squad are "enjoying" themselves whenever they take to the pitch this season.

"Of course, there are a lot of things that we could improve, and we still must grow as a team," said the Spain international.

"We are still at the beginning of the season, but we are enjoying, and we are feeling good on the pitch and that's important for the team."

Chelsea host Crystal Palace in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday afternoon, before taking in a well-earned rest over the international break.

Lampard's men are eight points behind leaders Liverpool, but only two behind reigning champions City, with Kepa eager to make "things difficult" for English football's top two.

"It is the truth that Liverpool and Manchester City had a better level than the rest of the teams and this season, we are fighting," he added.

"Currently we are in fourth position and obviously we want to get closer to them. We want to make things difficult for them and we are in that path."