The reason most players do not succeed at a new club is not because they suddenly lost their skill at the game, it oftentimes is because of the hefty price tag they come with and the pressure of keeping up.
Being an expensive player can in certain cases, mount a lot of pressure on one, especially because there’s increased expectations from different people as regards your performance. We saw the same happen to the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres and Hernan Crespo.
When Thibaut Courtois’ exit from Chelsea became imminent, there was heavy anxiety among fans because no one was sure who his replacement would be, and when Kepa was announced as the new goalie, there was still a feeling of uncertainty among some of us, fans, firstly, because he was relatively anonymous before that time, and secondly because his price was incredibly high for a man of his status.
Nerves were unsettled as the 23-year-old slotted in goal immediately against Huddersfield on Saturday, but judging by what we saw, it might not be out of place to say it wasn’t a bad decision by the club to sign the young goalie.
Kepa was very confident and assured in goal, and although he wasn’t really troubled, he showed signs he wasn’t affected at all by the £71 million Chelsea paid for him. He bossed his territory, and even Antonio Rudiger was full of praise for his confidence.
With that sort of confident performance from the Spain goalkeeper, most Chelsea fans would be relieved and happy knowing that Courtois’ loss wasn’t going to be the end of the world after all.
Sarri also seems to have gotten his defence right. Rudiger, Luiz and the rest of the boys at the back have found the type of solidity that would keep a goalkeeper happy and confident with and without the ball. It was an impressive performance from our back line and goalkeeper, and while we know sterner tests are ahead, the signs surely do look positive so far. We have a good rhythm, a good midfield, and now, a seemingly confident goalkeeper. That is a good mix, and could in fact be the perfect ingredient for our success this season.