Reports have claimed that Kepa Arrizabalaga continued to applaud the travelling Chelsea fans long after his teammates had headed for the changing room at Villa Park.
According to The Athletic, the 28-year-old soaked up chants of appreciation, something he potentially thought he’d seen the last of in this country.
The Spaniard was in inspired form at the weekend as Chelsea held on to a 2-0 win against Aston Villa.
Kepa made seven saves, including a save of the season nominee in the first half, to help a lacklustre Blues side to a fifth straight victory under Graham Potter.
The goalkeeper has been an ever-present since the new manager came in, with only him and Mason Mount starting every game for the former Brighton man.
Kepa soaked up applause
He has undoubtedly repaid the faith put in him by Potter with a string of sensational performances. The displays have seen him keep Edouard Mendy without an appearance since the international break.
Now, The Athletic have claimed that Kepa spent the moments after his latest performance soaking up the appreciation from a set of supporters who may have thought they’d seen the last of him in big games.
Potter was another who was quick to praise the Spain international after full-time. The manager described his display as ‘world-class’.
He will almost certainly keep his place for tomorrow’s London derby against Brentford, where the home crowd are sure to be up for the challenge of ending Chelsea’s impressive winning run.
It remains to be seen whether Mendy will be able to break back into the side, only a year on from being crowned the UEFA goalkeeper of the year for 2021.
If Kepa’s form continues, and if Mendy’s contract scenario is not sorted soon, the Senegal man could find himself looking for a new club soon.