Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Barcelona Offered This Keeper In Swap Deal For Ter Stegen: Why The Catalans Shouldn’t Entertain This?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Mundo Deportivo, who cite The Telegraph, Barcelona have been offered Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in a swap deal for Marc Andre ter Stegen this summer. The same source has also claimed that the Blues are willing to offer the Spanish goalie so that they can persuade the Catalans to send ter Stegen in the other direction during the upcoming transfer window.

Arrizabalaga’s Unimpressive Form At Chelsea This Season

Arrizabalaga has experienced an underwhelming season at Stamford Bridge as he has been guilty of committing some poor mistakes at the back over the past ten months. He has featured in 40 matches for the West London outfit this term, conceding 53 goals and securing ten clean sheets in all competitions.

The Spanish custodian has sometimes been responsible for giving away the ball cheaply as he is not best passer in the Chelsea first-team. He has completed 79.5% of his attempted passes in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League and has averaged 4.1 long balls per game this season (stats via whoscored).

The Ondarroa-born talent has represented Spain at various youth levels and has earned ten senior caps for the Spanish national team. However, the way things are going for him, he is likely to be replaced by someone else in Luis Enrique’s squad when the UEFA European Championship finals get underway next summer.

Chelsea’s Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga looks on during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on July 11, 2020. (Photo by RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What Are The Spanish Keeper’s Best Attributes?

Arrizabalaga has quick reflexes that allow him to pull off some amazing saves in between the sticks for the Blues. He can make a few excellent dives to restrict the opposition from scoring, but needs to cut out the silly mistakes from his game if he wants to remain a keeper at the top level.

Why Barca Shouldn’t Entertain A Deal Involving ter Stegen’s Exit This Summer

The Catalan giants would be foolish even to entertain the possibility of selling their number one keeper, ter Stegen for an inconsistent Arrizabalaga, who is not the best distributor of the ball. A lot of Barcelona’s attacks start from ter Stegen’s feet as he is an exceptional ball-distributor, and his shot-stopping ability is also second to none.

Quique Setien is in dire need to make some intelligent signings this summer without losing any of his best stars from the Nou Camp. All in all, the La Liga giants should consider retaining the German keeper’s services for the long-run and not opt to sign Arrizabalaga, who will clearly be a downgrade before the start of the new campaign.

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