Chelsea Keeper Kepa Already Proving He’s Worth Every Penny

Many an eyebrow was raised when Chelsea decided to pay out a world record fee for young Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer.

The Blues had to replace former number one Thibaut Courtois, after the Belgian World Cup Golden Glove winner decided he wanted to join Real Madrid. Instead of going out for a well established goalie, Chelsea decided to recruit a young Spaniard who had shone at Athletic Bilbao in the previous two years.

At the moment it looks as though Chelsea have actually got the best possible deal. As Courtois struggles to establish himself at Real, Kepa has come into Stamford Bridge and he’s been very impressive in his first ten appearances for the club.

The twenty-four year old doesn’t seem at all phased by the £71.6m fee (the most any team has paid for a goalkeeper) that The Blues forked out for his services. The backline already have confidence in their keeper.

Obviously due to his age, stature and his nationality you’ll get plenty of people comparing Arrizabalaga with his compatriot David de Gea. But for me, Kepa has settled in to Premier League life a lot quicker than De Gea did at Manchester United. If the Chelsea shot-stopper can reach the levels that De Gea then reached, Chelsea will have a superstar on their hands.

Kepa has stated that De Gea has given him some tips since he arrived in England:

“David is a team-mate with the national team and we get on really well. When I signed for Chelsea, he gave me some advice, telling me a bit about how it was for him when he came here.”

Arrizabalaga seems to have great concentration levels and you need that if you are a goalkeeper playing for one of the top sides in the league.

He proved that yesterday in Chelsea’s away win over Southampton, The Blues were two goals up but then on the seventy-ninth minute Saints forward Nathan Redmond hit cracking shot from distance and Kepa expertly diverted it over his crossbar. That save meant that Chelsea weren’t in for a nervous finish and it deflated the opposition. In total he’s made eighteen saves in the league this season,

In his first ten games for Chelsea, Kepa has recorded an impressive six cleansheets. Only Manchester City and Liverpool have conceded less in the Premier League so far this term.

A huge reason for the Arrizabalaga signing was his ability with the ball at his feet. His distribution has been excellent thus far and he looks really assured when the ball comes back to him. In terms of his passing success rate, Kepa is averaging at 81.1% per league outing and is up at a whopping 92.1% in the Europa League. 

We all know that new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri likes to see his team playing high tempo football full of passes, so having a number one that is so good on the ball was always going to be needed and they’ve got that in Kepa. Only Joe Hart and Ben Foster have attempted more passes than the Chelsea keeper.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has enjoyed a superb start to his Chelsea career. The team are flying under Sarri and no one is currently missing former keeper Courtois and that’s a big compliment for the new number one at The Bridge.

If he can continue to impress and even improve then Chelsea will have a star on their hands and a fantastic goalkeeper to call upon when they need him in the biggest of games!

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