Kepa Arrizabalaga’s arrival at Stamford Bridge came with some serious pressure.
After Thibaut Courtois’ acrimonious exit from Chelsea, fans were excited for a new goalkeeper to come in.
But after Alisson’s move to Liverpool, the announcement of Chelsea’s interest in Kepa – a relatively unknown player for many fans – received a mixed reaction.
And the pressure further increased when he signed for a world record fee for a keeper – £71.6 million – eclipsing what Liverpool paid for Alisson.
Many fans took to YouTube to try to find clips of Kepa in action, but his performances this season have impressed fans and players alike.
Whilst his qualities with the ball at his feet are widely known, his comfort under high balls was questioned.
But Kepa has dispelled these uncertainties and after one possible error against Arsenal, has looked comfortable.
Unlike David de Gea’s long adjustment period after he moved to Manchester United, Kepa has calibrated easily.
His record of four clean sheets and just five goals conceded in eight league games makes for good reading.
Following de Gea’s slow start to the season, Kepa is an excellent alternative option for Spain’s national side.
Although firmly Spain’s number 2 goalkeeper, a friendly against Wales offers Luis Enrique a chance to experiment.
And for players to feel like part of the squad, minutes for squad players in friendlies is key.
Chelsea’s number one’s displays have proven that he can play on the biggest stage and should play on Thursday.