When Thibaut Courtois left Chelsea for Real Madrid in 2018, it left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans.
The Belgian shot-stopper had orchestrated a transfer by going AWOL and failing to turn up to training shortly before the season kicked off – forcing a move through.
But the blow was softened when the Blues announced they’d signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for over £70 million – making him the most expensive goalkeeper in history.
The money would guarantee success, right? Well, that’s how it looked last season, with Kepa excelling at Stamford Bridge, while Courtois struggled at the Bernabeu.
But things couldn’t be more different this year. Chelsea’s young ‘keeper has been poor, while his predecessor is leading Madrid to one of their best ever defensive campaigns.
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So, just how different have Kepa’s and Courtois’ stats been this season? Check out the head-to-head comparison below:
Minutes played – Kepa: 2160 | Courtois: 1620
Clean sheets – Kepa: 5 | Courtois: 10
Clean sheet percentage – Kepa: 20.8% | Courtois: 55.6%
Goals conceded – Kepa: 32 | Courtois: 10
Minutes per goal conceded – Kepa: 68 | Courtois: 162
Shots on target faced – Kepa: 72 | Courtois: 46
Save percentage – Kepa: 55.6% | Courtois: 78.3%
Saves – Kepa: 41 | Courtois: 36
The differences really are stark. Courtois absolutely wipes the floor with Kepa in every single statistic.
With numbers like that, it’s no surprise Chelsea boss Frank Lampard decided to drop his number one for Saturday’s game against Leicester.
Of course, it’s not just Kepa to blame for leaking goals. Given that Courtois has faced far fewer shots, we can assume that Real Madrid’s defence is really helping him out – as they should be.
It may have taken the Belgian a while to settle into life at the Bernabeu but right now, he’s performing to a very high standard.
Kepa – on the other hand – is not. Blues fans will hate to admit it, but they are really missing Courtois right now.
Hopefully though, the Chelsea goalkeeper will come through this tough spell stronger and start matching the stats of the man he’s replaced.