Chelsea signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for a world record fee of £72million from Athletic Bilbao this summer, a move that finally allowed Thibault Courtois to get his move to Real Madrid.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: Impulse Buy or Future Chelsea Star?
However, although the addition of the 23-year-old was necessary, there are questions that still hang over him.
Did Chelsea sign him because they needed a new shot-stopper quickly, or did they see him as a star in the making?
Kepa’s Stats Favour Him to be a Star
There is no doubt that Kepa will need to have huge shoulders with the pressure of the price-tag. It is no secret that the valuation of players is hitting ludicrous sums.
However, there are reasons as to why they do. Bilbao obviously did not want to lose one of their own stars, but Chelsea were willing to pay that price.
Kepa has been touted as a great keeper for a while and his statistics for the La Liga outfit go a long way in proving his quality.
As per Transfermarkt, the 23-year-old has conceded just 179 times in 169 appearances during his short career so far.
Having played over 15,000 minutes of football, he concedes a goal around every 85 minutes, which is some going.
To add to those impressive stats, he has also made 56 crucial saves in his ten-year career, helping his team to win a number of points.
Stats may not mean everything, however, they are the numbers and factual information that goes a long way to showing why Chelsea splashed out on him.
Kepa has been enjoying life at Stamford Bridge and has made some fine saves already. Granted, he has not been tested much, but when he has, he has produced.
Kepa Was Not the Only Option
The Blues are thought to have looked around in the summer for a new number one. It became evident that Courtois wanted to leave.
The likes of Alisson, Jan Oblak, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kasper Schmeichel and Jordan Pickford were all linked at points in the summer.
Kepa was not. His transfer appeared to have come out of the blue.
The names that had previously been mentioned were unlikely to leave their clubs (with Alisson expected to head to Liverpool). However, with Chelsea’s spending power, anything could have been possible for the Blues.
The west London outfit then approached Bilbao for a name that was not on anyone’s radar and it appears that supposed gamble has paid off.
Kepa: The Future Looks Bright
Chelsea are yet to taste defeat under Maurizio Sarri and Kepa has played some role in that.
Football is a team game, however, a goalkeeper is an individual position and one the young man could look to make his own for a number of years to come.
Should he become a star for the Blues, which he should, then that £72m transfer fee will look to become a bargain in the near future.