In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, former Chelsea goalkeeper Rob Green feels Kepa Arrizabalaga has the passing ability to be a good midfielder, a Middlesbrough supporter reveals the club didn’t follow up on his recommendation to sign N’Golo Kante six years ago and Kick It Out praise Frank Lampard and Chelsea for urging fans to stop singing an offensive song.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Kepa could play in midfield: Green
Rob Green has lauded the ball-playing ability of Kepa Arrizabalaga, telling BBC Radio Five Live his former Chelsea team-mate could easily be deployed as a central midfielder.
The recently retired 39-year-old got the opportunity to watch Kepa up close in training last season when he was our third-choice keeper and feels the Spaniard is well suited to the demands on the modern-day goalkeeper and ‘the expectation of playing out from the back’.
'He (Kepa) puts the ball down, right foot, left foot, and will ping a perfect pass into the path of the full-back who’s making a run down the wing,’ said Green.
'You go wow, he could play in central midfield.
'You go back to when someone like Barthez was with United years ago, well he actually plays out in training, Kepa could do that and hold his own no problems.’
Green admitted goalkeepers now have to be better at playing the ball with the feet than when he first started, owing to the introduction of the rule in 1992 which prohibits keepers from picking up a ball after it has been kicked to them by a team-mate.
'That's what the expectation is now, and that's what you get brought up on in academy structures and that's the way it’s gone forward,’ added the former England international.
'I remember not having the back-pass rule, that's a) how old I am and b) how much it's changed.
'They'll say: I'll get one in a thousand wrong or one a season wrong, but the way we're playing, it's a fundamental way of how we're going to play and that one a season, yeah, we'll take that on the chin.'
Boro missed opportunity to get Kante
A Middlesbrough supporter has told TalkSport of how his club may have missed out on getting N’Golo Kante for a bargain price six years ago when they did not take his advice to sign the midfielder from Caen.
After watching Kante in action for the French second division side in 2013, Dennis Abbott sent a tweet to Boro, recommending they take a closer look at him.
While the Teeside club said they had passed the information to their scouting department, they never made a move to sign the Frenchman, who joined Leicester City in 2015 and went on to win the Premier League with the Foxes and Chelsea in consecutive years.
‘I watched one of [Caen’s] early matches of the season and Kante was just amazing, he was head and shoulders above everybody,’ said Abbott.
‘When I saw him playing in the World Cup, for Chelsea and for Leicester, he didn’t really raise his game in England, he was the finished article in Caen, so I was amazed, absolutely amazed no one came in for him before Leicester.
‘He went to Leicester for £8m but I reckon if Boro had gone for him at the time, bearing in mind Caen were in the second tier then, they would have probably got him for about £500,000.’
Chelsea and Lampard get Kick It Out praise
Chelsea and head coach Frank Lampard have been praised on Twitter by anti-racism group Kick It Out after urging fans to stop singing a song which referred to West Ham United by an offensive name.
While the chant is dedicated to Lampard, it uses a derogatory term to describe fans of West Ham, where the Chelsea legend began his career.
‘The support of the fans is incredible. I didn't hear the song today but I'm aware of it,’ said Lampard in his reaction to the chant.
‘If there's a song that has offensive words in it then of course I don't want to hear that and that's me saying that as a big Chelsea man who really appreciates the support I've had over the years.’
Kick It Out praised the new Chelsea head coach for making the statement, which was highlighted on the club’s website and social media platforms.
We are pleased to see the club and Frank Lampard take such a clear stance in support of equality by condemning the song,’ said the organisation.