Kepa Arrizabalaga still has a future at Chelsea, says head coach Frank Lampard after the Spaniard was dropped against West Brom.
The 25-year-old has come under heavy criticism in the last year after a multitude of errors, including in the 3-1 win against Brighton on the opening day of the season where he let Leandro Trossard's shot from distance slip underneath him.
It has seen him lose his place to 39-year-old Willy Caballero who has now started the last two games, and with the arrival of Edouard Mendy, the Spaniard could slip further down the pecking order in west London.
"I certainly won't go to the point of [saying] he's played his last game for Chelsea," Lampard said on Kepa's future.
"I think it has been a difficult time for Kepa. That's been well documented. I know it, he knows it, but we certainly shouldn't jump to that conclusion.
"Also, [something] which I felt quite strongly about in the last week, is to understand that Kepa is a young man and an awful lot of the highlight or spotlight on him has become slightly unfair.
"I have to protect him because I know he is a good lad and playing with absolute professionalism and intent to do the best he can, as all the squad have done. That's all I want to say about him now."