Chelsea news: Lampard explains decision to start Caballero over Kepa for FA Cup final

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Lampard had a tough call to make (Picture: Getty Images)

Frank Lampard says it was always his plan to play Willy Caballero throughout their FA Cup campaign after Kepa Arrizabalaga was once again left out of Chelsea’s starting XI for the final against Arsenal.

The world’s most expensive stopper has come under fire for a string of high-profile errors this season.

The 25-year-old has struggled to live up to the £72 million fee the west London club shelled out to bring him to Stamford Bridge from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

Lampard decided to take him out of the firing line for his side’s crunch final-day 2-0 victory against Wolves, in which they secured a top four spot and Champions League football for next year.

Kepa played in the Chelsea’s FA Cup fifth-round victory over Liverpool earlier in the season.

However, when faced with the chance to win his first ever piece of silverware as a manager in the final against the Gunners, the English boss put his faith in Argentine Caballero.

‘To be honest that was my plan anyway was for him to play the FA Cup throughout pretty much,’ Lampard told BT Sport when asked to explain his goalkeeping decision.

‘And he plays, he got a clean sheet last week and we rely on him and we trust in him.’

Kepa could be facing the exit door at Chelsea (Picture: Getty Images)

The Blues boss has another big call to make this summer in who he chooses to be his No.1 for next season.

Chelsea are reportedly unwilling to sell Kepa for anything less than £50 million, but could accept a long-term loan move.

Ajax keeper Andre Onana and Burnley’s Nick Pope are some of the names being linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak is also a rumoured target, but the Spanish giants are demanding clubs play his £109 million release clause.

MORE: Arsenal vs Chelsea FA Cup final TV channel, live stream, time, team news, odds and head-to-head

MORE: Ian Wright explains why Bukayo Saka should start on the bench for Arsenal against Chelsea in FA Cup final

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