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‘Kepa can be arrogant but is a strong character’ – Chelsea keeper will have ‘fluctuations’, says Green

3:03 PM GMT 16/01/2020
Kepa Arrizabalaga Chelsea 2019-20
The former Blues custodian is not surprised to see the odd error creeping into the game of the most expensive shot-stopper in world football

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Green admits Kepa Arrizabalaga has an “arrogant” side, as the most expensive custodian in world football, but is also a strong character.

The Spaniard has faced questions of his form again this season, with costly errors creeping into his game.

Better is expected from a man who cost the Blues a record-breaking £72 million ($92m) in the summer of 2018.

Green believes Kepa will be demanding more from himself, with the former England international having worked alongside the 25-year-old at Stamford Bridge last season.

“It's been a funny season for him, hasn't it?” Green told The Athletic.

“I think when you're playing so many games as a keeper, the fluctuations are going to be there.

“What he's got [in his favour]… he's got fantastic feet, a lot of power. He has big thighs, a lot of muscle and that gives him a big spring. He is very fast as well, comes with a lot of speed.”

Green added on Kepa: “As a person he's a really nice lad, and he's got a fantastic attitude.

“He does have this side of him which is arrogant, or certainly very confident in his own ability. It's that fine line and he has that. He carries the fact that he is the most expensive keeper in the world with him.

“There is that edge to him in training. We used to have these races. I was the slowest by a long, long way. He was so much quicker than all the keepers, but he still had to cheat (and get a head start). He would have won anyway, but he still had to cheat. I would cheat just to keep up.”

Green has revealed that Kepa also takes to dictating proceedings in training sessions if he feels there are greater benefits to be found in alternative routines.

“Another thing he'd do in training is suddenly he will stop and say, ‘We've done all that. OK. Now I want this particular drill. This is what I need’,” Green added.

“It was fair enough. He is the one out on the pitch. But it shows a strength of character to speak up like that.”

Kepa took in 54 appearances during his debut season with Chelsea, helping them to the Carabao Cup final – where he made plenty of headlines for refusing to be replaced – and success in the Europa League.

He has seen a further 29 outings this term, with the Blues chasing down FA Cup and Champions League honours while pushing for a top-four finish in the Premier League.