Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is very happy that his second choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s switch to Napoli collapsed.
What’s the word?
That is according to super-journalist Fabrizio Romano, who took to Twitter to issue the revelation made by the German boss.
Taking to his personal page, Romano said:
“Tuchel on Kepa-Napoli deal collapsed: “He checked his options in summer which we were aware of. They were not satisfying for him or for us, so he stayed”.
“I’m very happy about that. I was always very clear with Kepa that I wanted him to stay”.
A surprise revelation
Since his record-breaking transfer from Athletic Bilbao that made him the most expensive goalkeeper ever, life has not been easy for Arrizabalaga.
A series of mistakes in his first two seasons deemed him untrustworthy as a first-choice option, with Edouard Mendy coming in to demote him down to second-choice.
It has been that way ever since, yet regular mistakes from Mendy has now made the competition between the two even tighter, with Tuchel clearly elated at the fact the Spaniard still remains at the club.
And it is no wonder as to why, as we find ourselves in a time where Kepa’s goalkeeping metrics better that of Mendy’s.
With the caveat that the Spaniard has played less games than the Senegalese, Kepa averages an impressive save percentage of 75%, which places him in the 88th percentile of positionally similar players in Europe’s top five leagues, courtesy of FBref.
Mendy, on the other hand, averages a save percentage of 68.5%, which ranks him in a below-average 43rd percentile among positionally similar players in Europe’s top five leagues.
It’s also worth noting that Kepa is a more active goalkeeper, averaging 1.00 defensive action outside the penalty area, whilst Mendy is more conservative, clocking up an average of 0.56 defensive actions outside the penalty area.
The competition between the two is closer than ever, but it remains to be seen as to whether £145k-per-week Kepa will get the opportunity to prove himself again as a first-choice keeper.