Debut watch: A solid start for Kepa Arrizabalaga against toothless Terriers
Kepa Arrizabalaga made his Chelsea debut against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, here he how he fared.
08/08/2018 - Kepa Arrizabalaga makes world-record £71.6 million move to Chelsea
11/08/2018 - Kepa Arrizabalaga makes his first start for Chelsea
The 23-year-old has had three days to acclimatise himself to a new country, a new team and new expectations.
Yet Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri picked him to start against Huddersfield on Saturday. As, among others, Massimo Taibi will attest, a strong debut is imperative for any new signing, particularly a goalkeeper.
With that in mind, we elected to take an in-depth look at the Spain international. Here is how he fared.
9 MINS - The £71 million keeper Kepa’s first piece of action looks a nervous one. Centre-half David Luiz does him no favours with a very poor pass but the 23-year-old makes a hash of his clearance: slicing it high and wide.
14 MINS - Better from the former Athletic Bilbao man, who is swift off his line to clear a long ball over the top with Steve Mounie bearing down on him.
19 MINS - Kepa's first save in Chelsea's colours - and it was pretty straight forward but he got it done. Alex Pritchard takes aim from 20 yards but it's never threatening the visitors' no 1. A rudimentary save.
72 MINS - Shows good judgement to tip a Philip Billing header over the crossbar from a set-piece situation - the referee somehow missed the Kepa touch and gives a goal-kick.
80 MINS - And that is what he was bought for. The 23-year-old collects Laurent Depoitre’s header and sets in motion a counter attack that culminates in Pedro scoring Chelsea’s third.
Made a slightly jittery start but grew into his debut against a Huddersfield team that offered very, very little going forward. In fact, the Terriers only had one shot on target the whole game. Furthermore, the home side very rarely tested Kepa’s aerial credentials with their delivery into the box – especially from set-piece situations – particularly poor.
It was a very solid debut from Chelsea’s new number one; he was rarely tested but was solid when called upon.