Kepa justifies De la Fuente

That of the goal has been one of the most continuous lines that Luis de la Fuente has maintained in his first call with the Spanish National Team with respect to his predecessor. There will only be one variation with respect to the three goalkeepers who were summoned for the Qatar 2022 World Cup: the return of Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Chelsea goalkeeper replaces the injured Unai Simón in the squad for the Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Norway and Scotland. However, the new Spanish coach remembered the Athletic Club goalkeeper at the press conference that took place in Las Rozas: “I would like to take this opportunity to send him a very strong hug and hope that Unai, our goalkeeper, recovers soon. He knows we have him. He has been with me for many years and we blindly trust him ”. A few words that lead one to think that, with a view to future calls, there may be new variations under the sticks of the Spanish National Team. However, what is curiously striking is that the three goalkeepers called up for the March national team break play in the Premier League. The one who has gone back to remain out of the call is David De Gea, one of the great stars of the new Manchester United of Erik ten Hag.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga, who acts as the team’s starting and undisputed goalkeeper Blue since October, he has also been running as the new starting goalkeeper for Luis de la Fuente in La Roja. The performance exhibited by the Spaniard under the orders of Graham Potter, beyond the irregular results achieved by the London team this season, has helped him to return to a list from which he had been absent for almost three years. His last appointment with La Roja was in November 2020 –the famous 6-0 defeat of Germany, which he served as a substitute for Unai Simón–, while his last minutes with the Spanish National Team had a friendly in October 2020 against Portugal ( 0-0). Starting in 26 games with the Londoners this season (among all competitions), the month of March has brought a smile back to both Chelsea and Kepa Arrizabalaga himself. The once again Spanish international kept a clean sheet in two of the three games (Leeds United and Borussia Dortmund) and in the overall league season he has only conceded 11 goals in 18 games. And it is that the current Chelsea goalkeeper has left a clean sheet eight times in the Premier League, as well as three times in the Champions League. Kepa’s season is so good that he is the statistical leader in many categories in the Premier: leader in save percentage. There is no goalkeeper in the entire English league who prevents more goals with his interventions.

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Next to the Bilbao goalkeeper will be David Raya, from Brentford, and Robert Sánchez, from Brighton. The goalkeeper of the Bees He is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, and it is his fault that Thomas Frank’s team currently occupies 8th place in the standings and is only three points behind 5th place. While Kepa Arrizabalaga is the goalkeeper with the best save percentage (79.7%) in the 2022/2023 Premier League, David Raya is the one who has made the most interventions so far this year: 108. Likewise, Luis de la Fuente continues to count on Robert Sánchez, despite the fact that the goalkeeper of the seagulls It does not go through its best moment in terms of prominence. After the narrow defeat against Fulham, in mid-February, Roberto De Zerbi chose to give Jason Steele the alternative under the sticks. Since then, the English goalkeeper has started the FA Cup match against Stoke City and the following three Premier League duels with very positive results: three wins, one draw and three clean sheets. This way, three of the seven Spanish goalkeepers currently residing in England – Adrián San Miguel, from Liverpool; David de Gea, from Manchester United; Joel Robles of Leeds United; and Vicente Guaita, from Crystal Palace– will be international with the Spanish National Team.

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