Neville not convinced by Lampard’s backing of Kepa

Gary Neville has said Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has to publicly back under-fire Kepa Arrizabalaga, but believes his former England team-mate will not be happy with the £71m keeper.

Kepa was preferred to veteran Argentine Willy Caballero for the Blues’ first game of the season as Lampard’s side won 3-1 away against Brighton.

But the Spaniard was at fault for the home side’s equaliser, diving over a 25-yard strike by Leandro Trossard from the edge of the area.

“Kepa is here, he’s our keeper and I’m happy with him,” Lampard said

“With the shot I’m not sure if he could’ve done any better. But I saw a bit more confidence in how he was playing.”

Sky Sports pundit Neville responded: “I don’t think he is [happy]. I wouldn’t be.

“You have to back your players and support them publicly. But privately that goal is a really poor goal to give away. If you don’t have a top goalkeeper you won’t win that league.

“He makes far too many mistakes. He lets in far too many goals that should be saved.”

Meanwhile, Lampard refused to confirm if Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was close to finalising a move.

“If we are bringing in competition, it will be competition,” he said when asked about the Senegal international.

“That’s the nature of Chelsea and it goes throughout the squad.”

Lampard did however suggest there was a need to balance the squad, with more players expected to go out on loan in the coming weeks.

He added: “There are some weeks to go until the end of the window. We have a big squad now and have to manage that and look at how we move forward in terms of getting the right level of competition.”