Chelsea

Introducing: The ‘keeper Man United should have signed, Kepa Arrizabalaga

Introducing: The ‘keeper Man United should have signed, Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea broke the world record fee for a goalkeeper this summer with the signature of Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71m

It was a deal that The Blues had to make, as they had lost current keeper Thibaut Courtois with only days remaining in the transfer window. While the 24-year-old was relatively unknown, he has made an impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge, and has raised questions about Man United’s transfer policy.

Current United keeper David de Gea had long been linked to a move back to his native Spain, with giants Real Madrid being perennial suitors for the keeper.

While the move for the Belgian has effectively quashed any prospect on United’s number one ever going to Madrid, this may have been a mistake by The Red Devils. It may have been wiser to let the move happen, and buy Kepa as his successor.

There’s no denying that de Gea has been one of, if not the best, goalkeeper in the world over the past few seasons. However, ever since the World Cup he has looked a shell of the player he once was.

Silly errors during his country’s uneventful World Cup campaign have seemed to have dented his confidence, and he is yet to recover. However, this isn’t the main reason why he should have made the move away from Old Trafford in the summer.

Kepa (valued at £45m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) is in the mould of the ‘new age’ goalkeeper; one that is perfectly comfortable with the ball at his feet. This season has seen a titanic change in what is expected from keepers in the Premier League, with those incapable of adjusting to the modern game being embarrassingly highlighted at times.

De Gea doesn’t necessarily fall into either camp; he isn’t particularly bad with his feet, but neither is he good. Perhaps he has got away with it so far in his career by being a superb shot stopper, but that doesn’t seem to suffice for some people. Kepa would have effectively been the modern upgrade for de Gea, one in which the club would have dodged a bullet with regards to the player’s dip in form.

It’s easy to say that this would have made sense in the transfer window with the benefit of hindsight, but Man United needed to make these kind of moves to return to greatness.

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