REPORT: Kepa Arrizabalaga to Stay and Fight for His Chelsea Place

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It’s safe to say that Chelsea have not been satisfied with Kepa Arrizabalaga so far. After a promising start, his form dropped massively last season, boasting the worst save percentage in the league.

However, Matt Law of The Telegraph reports that Kepa is still determined to fight for his Chelsea career and will be staying next season, even if the Blues sign a new ‘keeper.

Kepa Arrizabalaga to Fight for Chelsea Place

Could Kepa Still Revive his Career?

Although it remains unlikely, Kepa may still have a future at Chelsea.

Manager Frank Lampard dropped him for the most important games of the season, including the FA Cup games and the final game against Wolverhampton Wanderers. In his place, he selected Willy Caballero, a 38-year-old career substitute.

After the games, Lampard claimed it was merely a squad decision. But, Kepa is the most expensive goalkeeper of all time, and he doesn’t start in the most important games? That’s not rotation, that’s simply a case of the Spaniard losing his manager’s trust.

By the end of the season, he virtually had one foot out the door. However, since then, Chelsea technical advisor and goalkeeping legend Petr Cech has publicly stated his trust in Kepa.

Cech confirmed that the club will be keeping the 25-year-old this season, and that he will get another chance. Given his pedigree, it’s hard to disagree with him if he says that he can fix Kepa’s struggles.

While Chelsea are still targeting a second keeper, with Rennes’s Edouard Mendy the chief target, Kepa will be there to compete for a starting spot.

Horrendous 2019/20 Season

Barring that one game in the FA Cup against Liverpool, Kepa truly had a shocking year. His save percentage was just one of his deficiencies.

The Premier League calculates the expected goals (xG) and goals against (xGA) values to exhibit the probability of shots going in, taking into account the angle, position, number of defenders, etc.

Chelsea conceded 54 goals last season, but their xGA is 38. This means that 38 of the shots taken against Kepa should have technically gone in, but, instead, 54 did.

Of the 54 goals conceded last season, he was at fault for 16. In contrast, champions Liverpool had an xGA of 41, but they only conceded 32, which shows how immense Alisson Becker has been for them.

That is a very scary statistic for Chelsea fans and one that should not be overlooked. This past season from Kepa has been one of the worst from a Chelsea ‘keeper since before Mark Schwarzer.

Kepa certainly has a lot to make up for, and Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell will give him a better defence this time around. He will get his chance, but he needs to step it up and show he belongs.

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