Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been ranked the best Premier League goalkeeper, his turnaround is complete
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Kepa Arrizabalaga is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season according to a recent survey, capping a remarkable turnaround in his fortunes at Chelsea.
It's fair to say that up until this season, Kepa's time at Stamford Bridge had been nothing short of a nightmare. The Spaniard became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when Chelsea signed him from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6m in 2018 but his performances hardly lived up to the price tag.
A series of mistakes saw his confidence plummet and, when Frank Lampard replaced Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager, things only got worse.
Kepa had the worst save percentage of all Premier League goalkeepers during the 2019/20 season, something that no doubt played a part in Chelsea signing Senegalese shot-stopper Edouard Mendy in 2020.
Mendy took the starting job and played a key role in Chelsea's 2021 Champions League triumph. Kepa's time at Chelsea looked to be over but this season he has completed one of the most unexpected redemption arcs ever.
Mendy has spent much of the current campaign out of the team, thanks to a combination of poor form and injuries to his shoulder and finger. That has given Kepa an unexpected stint between the sticks, and the 28-year-old has more than made the most of it.
According to a study from BetVictor, Kepa ranks first out of the 20 starting goalkeepers in the Premier League this season in terms of shot-stopping score, a value calculated using save percentage and goals prevented per 90 minutes.
Across 14 league matches this term, Kepa has a save percentage of 81.5%, while he has prevented an incredible 0.54 goals per 90 minutes.
Although Newcastle's Nick Pope and Bournemouth's Neto have slightly better save percentages (82.1% and 83% respectively), Kepa comes out on top overall with a shot-stopping score of 9.73.
Considering how his Chelsea career started and the widespread criticism he has received over the last few years, Kepa deserves immense credit.
When Mendy returns from injury, it will be interesting to see whether Graham Potter sticks with his in-form goalkeeper or reverts back to the usual No.1.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea, Edouard Mendy, Graham Potter, Premier League, Chelsea Transfer News & Rumours