Shaka Hislop has admitted he got it wrong on Kepa Arrizabalaga because he couldn’t imagine a way back for him at Chelsea.
In fairness, most of the football community wouldn’t have predicted what’s happened in the last few weeks with Kepa.
Chelsea’s 28-year-old goalkeeper has been in the shadows as the understudy to Edouard Mendy in the past couple of years, but there’s been a big change at Stamford Bridge recently.
Kepa has been given the starting position in goal by Graham Potter and has repaid him with four clean sheets in six appearances.
The shot-stopper put in an immense performance on Sunday to help beat Aston Villa 2-0. In fact, Jamie Carragher said it’s the best he’s ever seen from him in Chelsea colours.
Hislop got it wrong on Kepa
ESPN pundit Hislop has held his hands up by claiming he thought Kepa was finished at Stamford Bridge.
However, the “outstanding” goalkeeper is now rebuilding his reputation with a string of really impressive performances.
“Kepa, my goodness. A year ago, I totally wrote Kepa off. I hold my hands up there. I didn’t think there was any way back for him… The performance [against Aston Villa] was simply outstanding,” Hislop told ESPN.
For now, it makes no sense for Potter to bring Kepa out of the starting line-up.
However, Mendy must be sat on the bench thinking he definitely deserves his chance on the pitch to show Chelsea’s boss his quality. After all, he was the clear number one under Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea have a great record of conceding just two goals in six games under Potter, which is made even more impressive when you consider half of those matches have been in the Champions League.
Despite the defensive shutouts, largely down to Kepa on the weekend, there is still a lot to work on defensively.
Villa carved through the Blues far too easily on Sunday on several occasions, so they need to tighten up for this week’s trip to Brentford.
The current absence of Wesley Fofana and Reece James to the backline is a big one, but there’s enough talent and experience in this group to improve even further.
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.