Chelsea Target Crystal Palace Stopper To Compete With Kepa: Why This Could Be An Excellent Coup By The Blues?

According to a recent report by AS, Premier League giants Chelsea are said to be in the market for another goalkeeper as they look to provide first-choice shot-stopper Kepa Arizzabalaga some sterner competition for the starting role. The report claims that a renowned Chelsea scout has already begun to enquire about the availability of Crystal Palace custodian Vicente Guaita, with a view of potentially signing him as competition for the role at Stamford Bridge.

Although Manchester City are also said to be after the Spaniard, Chelsea are claimed to be in the driving seat regarding the 33-year-old’s signature. Owing to Kepa’s uncertainty between the sticks in recent fixtures, the Blues have chosen to send out footballing scout Christophe Lovichon to watch the Spaniard’s progress at Selhurst Park while also conducting dialogue with some of Guaita’s tight entourage as well.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Vicente Guaita of Crystal Palace in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on November 09, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

How Has Kepa Fared At Chelsea Since the Move?

The Spaniard was acquired in a big-money move by the Blues on deadline day during the summer transfer window ahead of last season, and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that his Chelsea career so far has been an extremely mixed bag. He was immediately brought into the side following the departure of Thibaut Courtois and has been the undisputed first-choice since the transfer. Despite this, Kepa’s performance levels have been mixed through the season and a half he’s been here, and the Blues must give him the right training to develop him into a top Premier League keeper.

The Spaniard was praised for his razor-sharp reaction times prior to his transfer, but that’s one aspect of his game that has been lacking. The former La Liga star has conceded the most number of goals from outside the box amongst all the Premier League keepers this season, and has made just 41 saves all campaign, compared to the 32 goals that the Blues have already conceded.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: Vicente Guaita of Crystal Palace shows his appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Crystal Palace at St Mary’s Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Why Chelsea Must Acquire Guaita In The Summer?

The Palace stopper has been renowned for his stellar work from set-pieces as well as his ability to play out from the back. While the Chelsea keeper boasts a terrible save percentage of 55 percent, his Spanish counterpart at Crystal Palace has managed a whopping 73 percent, with just Allison and Dean Henderson posting better numbers on the charts.

For a monstrous club like Chelsea, having a strong and dominant stopper between the sticks is a necessity, and those are two words that cannot be used to describe Kepa’s performances over the last few months. Acquiring Guaita will not only add more competition for the goalkeeping spot, but it could also help bring the best of his national team compatriot, and that’s a move that Frank Lampard will do well not to pass up on.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.