Chelsea should have signed Rui Patricio on a free transfer this summer instead of splashing out a world-record fee for Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace Thibaut Courtois in goal, according to Arsenal legend Martin Keown.
The 30-year-old shot-stopper ended up moving from Sporting Lisbon to newly-promoted Wolves on a free, and he’s looked a superb signing so far.
Keown has praised Patricio for playing such a crucial role in Wolves’ impressive 1-1 draw with champions Manchester City last week.
The Portugal international one particularly impressive save from City forward Raheem Sterling to help Wolves pick up a surprise point against Pep Guardiola’s side.
There seems little doubt that Patricio will prove better value for money than the expensive Kepa, who joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao after Courtois left for Real Madrid.
Keown suggests it’s remarkable that Wolves pulled off such an ‘amazing piece of business’, and says their ‘keeper looks a better player than Blues new-boy Kepa.
‘The main reason Wolves earned their point against Manchester City was Rui Patricio,’ Keown said in the Daily Mail.
‘He pulled off two world class saves and when you can bring in a player of that quality, you get results you could only have dreamed of.
‘It is remarkable that Wolves could sign Rui Patricio on a free. I would argue he is a better goalkeeper than Kepa Arrizabalaga, who cost Chelsea a world-record £71.6million.
‘In an age when full backs and goalkeepers cost more than centre forwards, Wolves pulled off an amazing piece of business.’
Chelsea certainly needed to move fast after losing Courtois, and Kepa does seem a little but like a panic buy by the west Londoners, despite his potential.