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Kepa: Chelsea’s Winning Mentality Is Back

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has revealed that the Blues’ winning mentality is back and they are ready to maintain the momentum.

On the back of a Champions League win at AC Milan, Chelsea won at Leeds United.

“I’m really happy because of the win and because I helped the team,” said Kepa.

“It’s a really tough stadium to play. We started the game very well, we controlled, we scored first, but after scoring we dropped a little bit our performance with the ball. We lost the control and we struggled in the last 20, 25 minutes of the first half.

“In half-time we changed a little bit and in the second half we managed the game much better. After a big win away in the Champions League, it’s not easy coming again to the Premier League, be focused, go away, travel.

“We are winning at big stadiums. Winning here is not easy, winning in Milan is not easy. We are getting the manager’s ideas better and better.”

Style of play

As a prospect and young player, Arrizabalaga was regarded as one of the most promising young goalkeepers in Europe, known for his consistency, speed, agility, shot-stopping ability, and quick reflexes, which enables him to produce “brilliant saves.”] Arrizabalaga was also known for his footwork, distribution, and skill with the ball at his feet, as well as his ability to rush off his line, which allowed him to act as a sweeper keeper and play the ball out of the back in Maurizio Sarri’s possession-based system that relied on a high back-line.

Former goalkeeper Manuel Almunia praised Arrizabalaga in 2017 as a goalkeeper with “good, strong feet” and “good movement,” who was capable saving the ball with his feet, and also described him as a keeper who possessed “presence and character,” also adding: “I’m sure he’ll make a great keeper.” In 2018, former Athletic Bilbao defender Andoni Goikoetxea described Arrizabalaga as being “good in the air,” noting that “he jumps and catches the ball very well,” while Richard Fitzpatrick of Bleacher Report described him as being “good at marshalling a defence.”

Following a strong start to the first part of his debut season with Chelsea, Arrizabalaga came under criticism for his inconsistency and poor performances, as well as his low save-percentage. He ended the season strongly with a series of excellent performances, in particular en route to his club’s Europa League victory. During his second season with Chelsea, he once again drew criticism over his shot-stopping ability and mistakes, which led him to be dropped by his Chelsea manager Frank Lampard for six matches. Arrizabalaga regained his starting position during the FA Cup tie against Liverpool later in the season. However, following more goalkeeping mistakes he was once again dropped for the final league match of the season and the FA Cup Final. He finished the season with the worst save percentage in Premier League history