Some Chelsea supporters were saddened to learn Kepa Arrizabalaga had disabled his replies on social media following further disapproval from his critics.
He tweeted out a gratification post for his 100th appearance in a Chelsea shirt, achieved during their 4-0 FA Cup win over Morecambe.
Unfortunately, the Spaniard was forced to shut down his response section after a typical angry mob hurled needless displeasure towards him.
Kepa has become an easy target since signing from Athletic Bilbao, mainly because he is burden by the world’s most expensive goalkeeper tag, marred by a handful of disappointing performances between the Chelsea sticks.
However, plenty huddled together in solidarity for the 26-year-old, hurt by the fact a player had to protect themselves from their club’s own fan base.
Having joined Chelsea in 2018 for an eye-raising figure of £71m (BBC Sport), Kepa had plenty of expectation riding upon his lavish goalie gloves. His maiden campaign was highly impressive, featuring 54 times for Maurizio Sarri, keeping 23 clean sheets in the process.
His levels have dropped since, owing to a lack of confidence, which led to Edouard Mendy being bought as his replacement.
Frank Lampard offered him a rare start at home to Morecambe, and although he was largely untroubled, he made some smart saves.
Many recognised his contribution at the weekend, and were eager to congratulate the display and his centurion achievement.
Regardless of the gratitude he’s received, Kepa’s future at Stamford Bridge still feels uncertain. Mendy remains as first-choice, yet even he’s forced a dip in form after a fantastic start to life in London.
Lampard didn’t want to be occupied by transfer rumors involving Kepa, saying: “I won’t be drawn on that one at the moment, he’s our player, we’ll see how January goes. But I don’t want to be alluding to what might or might not be.” (via Football.london)
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I’ll admit, I’ve been heavily critical of Kepa in the past, but I would never wish upon anyone the treatment he’s faced. It is reassuring that sections of supporters still have his corner and want him to succeed.
Personally, I think he should stay at Chelsea and fight for his place. Mendy has shown signs of his own weaknesses, presenting opportunities for Kepa to step up and prove he is worthy of his price tag.