Danny Mills explains why Frank Lampard should sign £50m Chelsea transfer target Nick Pope as Kepa Arrizabalaga replacement
Former Premier League defender Danny Mills has urged Chelsea to sign Burnley and England goalkeeper Nick Pope to replace struggling Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Kepa became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he completed a £72million move to Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.
He has endured two underwhelming seasons at Stamford Bridge, however, and appears to have lost the fight to save his Blues career.
Kepa, 25, was dropped for Chelsea’s crucial final Premier League match of the season and also found himself on the bench for the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Blues boss Frank Lampard is said to be hoping to welcome a new first-choice goalkeeper through the doors at Stamford Bridge this summer and Mills believes Pope fits the bill.
Since joining Burnley from Charlton Athletic in 2016, Pope has established himself as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the Premier League and made two appearances for England.
According to recent reports, Burnley are reluctant to sell the 28-year-old but will be tempted by offers in the region of £50m.
‘I think Pope is ready to be a goalkeeper at an elite club,’ Mills, who enjoyed spells at Leeds United, Manchester City and Charlton, told Football Insider.
‘There will always be people that question his distribution but he has never been asked to play that way so we do not know if it is a massive issue or not. I do not buy into that. He can certainly adapt.
‘Chelsea are not buying Nick Pope for the future, they are buying Nick Pope for now. If they want to go and challenge next season they need a keeper now.
‘That is what Liverpool did with Alisson. They did not wait for some kid, they addressed the situation.’
Speaking last month, former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher urged Chelsea to sell Kepa.
‘Chelsea won’t go no further unless they change their goalkeeper,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘Going back to how important goalkeepers are I look at this Chelsea team and there’s a lot I like about it, it does remind me in a lot of ways the position Jurgen Klopp was in a couple of years ago.
‘He’s done as much as he can, yes Frank’s still in his early stages but those big signings can completely transform you as a team.
‘I still think Chelsea need a defender, you see how many goals they’ve conceded. I think a lot of that is down to the goalkeeper being totally honest.’