Kepa Arrizabalaga set a record two summers ago when Chelsea decided to pay his €80m release clause at Athletic Bilbao and make him not only our club-record signing, but the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, just a few million ahead of Alisson Becker, who had signed for Liverpool just a couple weeks prior.
Alisson has lifted a Champions League and Premier League trophy since. Kepa has a Europa League ... and maybe an FA Cup if we’re lucky?
But Kepa’s also setting records of a different sort, on the stat sheet, and not in a good way. As we explore new depths in things like save percentage and (post-shot) expected goals conceded, here’s one that just about sums it all up: the next goal Kepa concedes will be his 48th in the league and will be the most any one goalkeeper has conceded at the Bridge in a Premier League season.
Clearly, something has to change in the goalkeeping department, be that as a replacement or better competition for the 25-year-old who’s not exactly easily moveable. So while Chelsea have been concentrating on reinforcements in attack so far — and are reportedly very close to getting Kai Havertz over the line — the club will be targeting goalkeeper next in the transfer window.
That’s according to ESPN’s “sources”, who don’t mention any names but do insist that we’ll be looking for “proven and experienced” options, which apparently rules out Dean Henderson, who wants one of the Uniteds, Manchester or Sheffield instead anyway.
The dream signing would surely be Jan Oblak, but we’d have set all the records anew for that to happen. We might have to settle for bringing in strong competition instead, maybe an Andre Onana or an Alphonse Areola, just to throw two representative names out there.