Isn’t it funny how quickly things can turn around for people? This time in August, we were still unsure over our Spanish goalkeeper’s abilities in goal. He had just been signed from Atletico Bilbao, for a hefty fee, and came off as a fraud to some people. Chelsea had just let their Belgian shot stopper Thibaut Courtois leave to Real Madrid for only over 30 million pounds, and in exchange for Mateo Kovacic’s loan services, how well would Sarri’s first season go down to be?
I think that the answer to all of the aforementioned questions have pretty much been answered by now – or at least to some extent. After 8 league games, we have conceded five times this season, and the man some of us doubted at the start of the season has been a huge influence at the back.
Kepa has quickly risen in stock, and has proved to be a very good addition to Chelsea. Perhaps, we did the best bit of transfer business in Europe throughout the summer.
Compared to some of his rivals, Kepa has certainly shown good reflexes and alertness in goal. Our last game against Southampton probably would have ended a draw were it not for his rising to the challenge in the number of times he was called upon.
Some people will argue that he has had more protection than other goalkeepers, but I’m not sure how true that is. Kepa has so far managed a 78.26% save percentage – far above the formerly most rated goalie in the league, David De Gea who has 64.1%. He also boasts a better pass accuracy than most goalies in England – 81.09%. This is a man that was considered unfit to fill Courtois’ boots. I think he has more than filled them so far, and hope he continues to get better.
There is no better confidence boost for a goalie than for his defence to be in good form. So we hope our back line also continue to show good work in their play this season.
Having said that, I think that although Kepa is still young in the league, he just may upset the already established and highly rated goalkeepers, and go on to become among the greatest in Europe. If you asked me, he already may be the very best in the league, judging by current form.