Kepa and Chelsea - Time to move on

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been a controversial figure at times since joining Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao. He had that infamous bust up with Maurizio Sarri where he refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final and has come under fire for a number of errors and inadequate performances between the sticks this season. The Spaniard’s attitude has come under scrutiny but it is easy to sometimes forget that Kepa is still just 25 - relatively young for a goalkeeper. It was always going to be difficult following on from the Petr Cech legacy, also Thibaut Cortouis to a lesser extent. Kepa's dips in form have come at the wrong time. The current squad is young, talented and maturing and having an assuring figure behind them in goal is essential at this stage of their development. It seems as if an early departure from the club may be the right move and here is why: 

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Spain Number One 

Kepa in action as Spain number one.

The form of fellow countryman David De Gea has opened the door for Kepa to become number one for his country. The Chelsea number one made seven starts during the European Championship qualifying campaign. Spain are not long off their recent domination of world football which seen them win three successive major tournaments. The Spanish side which conquered Europe in 2008 and 2012, crowned World Champions in 2010 and finished runners up in the Confederations Cup in 2013 is one that will go down in history as one of the greatest. It was only inevitable that a dip would ensue after this period of success but there is a promising crop of players in the current Spain squad which will look to be competing at the highest level and for honours soon. If Kepa would like to continue to be number one then he is going to have to improve drastically at Chelsea or move to a side with less pressure to revitalize his career. David De Gea is one of the best in the world on his day so any slips will see the Manchester United 'keeper reinstated as his country's number one. 

Recoup Transfer Fee 

Transfers are going to be affected on a wide scale due to the financial burdens the current pandemic is creating but Chelsea do hold the record of signing a goalkeeper for a world record fee. Kepa's transfer to the club set them back £71 million. If he fails to develop into the goalkeeper the club hoped would fill the void left by one of the club's greatest keepers then his value will quickly diminish. FFP has finally started punishing clubs for a lack of accountability regarding their finances so selling Kepa while his value is still high and in the current Spain starting team may be the best move forward. 

Is Kepa the 'keeper Chelsea need? 

Kepa has been Chelsea's number one for the last two seasons.

Not every major transfer works out for the best. There are hundreds of examples of big money signings failing to live up to their price tag, yet some of these players continue to have more than decent careers. The potential is there for Kepa to become a regular in a side for many years to come and his record of 31 clean sheets in 79 appearances for the Blues is impressive considering the circumstances at the club the last couple of seasons. My personal opinion is that Kepa is not ever destined to become a world class 'keeper nor have I ever been overly convinced by him. I have always said from watching him play that he has more confidence in his own ability than anyone else. He is too prone to a mistake and while many people will point out the progress David De Gea made when under fire after first joining Manchester United, I am sticking to my gut on this one. His failure to stop efforts on goal which should be bread and butter for an international goalkeeper has been a thorn in Chelsea's side for too long. 

There is potential in this current Chelsea squad that could take them back to the top with some additional recruits - but I think it is time to move on for Kepa - for both the clubs and the players’ sake. 

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