Chelsea broke the world record fee for a goalkeeper by signing kepa arrizabalaga from athletic bilbao for 71.6 million euros on a seven year deal on the 9th of august 2018, the 23year old arrived on the eve of Thibaut courtois departure from Stamford bridge, kepa featured 30 times for athletic bilbao in laliga that season keeping seven clean sheets and earning a call up to spain’s national team.
In his first season at Chelsea which was the 2018/2019 season, he kept a total of 14 clean sheet in 36 premier league appearance and conceded 38 goals, he also kept 7 clean sheets in 13 appearance in the Europa league and conceding only 8 times in the competition, an impressive display which was pivotal for Chelsea wining the Europa league in baku ,he kept a total of 23 clean sheets in 54 appearance in all competition that season ,not bad for 24 year old goal keeper with only three year’s experience of top flight football.
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Although in his second season which was the 2019/2020 season things went really bad for the Spanish shot stopper, keeping only 8 clean sheets in 33 premiere league appearance and conceding 46 goals ,also keeping 1 clean sheet in 6 appearance in the champions league ,he ended the season with a total of 14 clean sheet in 49 appearance, and conceded 58 goals with a goal per 90 minute ratio of 1.39 which was very poor ,he played 510 minute less than the previous season with second choice willy caballero taking his stead in some games.
Kepa’s poor performance continued into the 2020/2021 season ,after playing 3 matches, and having a clean sheet ratio of 0% ,with an average 1.67 goals conceded for every 90 minutes,this lead to the imminent signing of edouard mendy from rennes for 22 million euros ,after he had an impressive 2019/2020 season league one ,keeping 9 clean sheets in 24 league one appearance and finishing the season with 12 clean sheets in 33 appearance with a 0.71 goal conceded per 90 minute which was the second lowest in league one. Mendy came to Chelsea and hit the ground running with a 100% clean sheet ratio in 3 premiere league appearance and conceding once in 7 appearance and a master class performance against Manchester united has seen mendy cement his place as Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper.
Although mendy is an excellent shot stopper they are few pointers that shows that kepa still has an edge over his colleague.
When it comes to saving penalties kepa statistic shows his far better than mendy, kepa has faced 21 penalties in his career and saved 6 of them which is very impressive while mendy has faced 23 penalties in his career and saved only 1 which is very poor considering the fact that the Spanish league is more competitive than the French league. Kepa’s penalty heroics in 2018/2019 season against eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa league where he saved 2 penalties in the penalty shootout which lead Chelsea to the final in baku and subsequently winning the cup tells a lot about his quality.
When it comes to passing, kepa is also better than mendy, kepa has a passing accuracy of 81.8 % and a pass per 90 minute ratio of 28.2 this also very impressive for a goal keeper while mendy has a pass accuracy of 74.3% and a pass per minute 90 minutes ratio of 26.3 thus far with a dodgy pass across his own goalline going out to the corner at old Trafford ,modern football entails playing from the back and having a goalkeeper like kepa would be handy.
Being a good goalkeeper and keeping a clean sheets largely depends on defenders ,and kepa unfortunately has not enjoyed the protection of a solid defence at Chelsea, with david luiz leaving for arsenal and with key defensively minded players like kante being injured last season caused defensive problems for Chelsea leaving kepa exposed to many shots thereby conceding more goals. Edouard mendy on other hand has been fortunate to enjoy the protection of solid defence even at rennes with the defensive prowess of damian da silva and also at Chelsea in the partnership of an experienced thiago silva and an in form zuma, also with kante back to his best ,the team is more stable, with mendy facing fewer shots than kepa, this was very evident when he(mendy) didn’t face any shot in the first half of Chelsea’s champions league encounter with rennes on Tuesday night.
kepa has 2.0 saves per 90 minute same as mendy for Chelsea, kepa has 98 appearance for Chelsea making 210 saves which is not so bad considering Chelsea’s awful defence of last season.
Do you think kepa can still force his way into lampard’s plans ,leave your thoughts in the comment section .