Frank Lampard believes Kepa Arrizabalaga could come back stronger after the goalkeeper was dropped from the ​Chelsea starting XI. 

The Spain international, who joined the Blues for a world record fee in 2018, was left out of the first-team for the 2-2 draw with ​Leicester before the winter break.

Lampard’s team host ​Manchester United on Monday and ​Tottenham the following Saturday in matches that could prove decisive in the race for the ​Premier League’s top four. 

Chelsea’s manager wants his players to embrace this challenge and that includes the £71m Arrizabalaga, who looks set to return to the side after being dropped against the Foxes.

Lampard has admitted that no player is guaranteed their spot in the starting line-up and they only way back into the team is through hard work.

“That is the reality of life, of football, of our careers,” ​Lampard said during his pre-match press conference.

“Everyone has these things and you can’t pull the wool over their eyes or be too sweet about it, because it is what it is. The only thing I ever found that got me back into the team or through a moment was hard work on the training ground. If you are going to sulk and if I ever did sulk, I would quickly try to readdress that myself and realise that I can only affect one thing, and that’s how I train to be ready to play.

“I don’t expect smiley faces when people get dropped, I just expect reactions, I expect support of the team-mates there. I think sometimes it can be something that makes you stronger. Most people get it at some point in their career. So it is what it is.”

Arrizabalaga has been judged at fault for a number of goals this season, including in the 1-0 defeat at ​Newcastle and 2-2 home draw with 10-man ​Arsenal.


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