Has Kepa Replaced De Gea As Spain's Starting Keeper?
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For the third game in a row, Manchester United’s David De Gea found himself out of the starting 11 for the Spanish national team in favor of Kepa Arrizibalaga. The Chelsea keeper has proven his worth, having allowed one goal over the three games he’s started, with the goal coming off a cheap deflection against the Faroe Islands.
While de Gea hasn’t had a bad year by any means, this year has certainly revealed that he isn’t the perfect keeper that previous years had shown him to be. The Spaniard has bottled massive saves for club and country during the 2018-2019 season, putting his consideration as one of the world's best goalkeepers into question among both fans and pundits.
De Gea’s mistake was because the car knocked it out his hands pic.twitter.com/GjYxkQuNDb— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) June 16, 2018
Another horrible moment for David de Gea. pic.twitter.com/UwToA2tAg5— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 28, 2019
To those who want to argue that the team is just resting de Gea, keep in mind these games have occurred over the span of three months, with the last game de Gea participated in with the Spanish national team occurring in March. Looking at the stats, the writing was on the wall: David de Gea has made three mistakes leading to goals in his last five games, an abysmal record for a top keeper.
Even the fans seemed to want a change between the sticks, with fans almost unanimously voting for Kepa to take the starting role.
AS ran a poll, who would you rather have in goal for Spain, Kepa or De Gea?23k votes.
De Gea 8%
— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) May 12, 2019
Although this is certainly a brutal situation for de Gea as he would be the starting keeper on almost any other national team in the world, it may be a pivotal moment for Spain, as the team tries to make the necessary adjustments to become the world-beaters they were a decade ago in time for the 2020 Euros.