London rivals West Ham and Chelsea were both in the market for new goalkeepers this summer and went about in different ways.
Both clubs knew they were going to need one for a while as well. Joe Hart’s loan spell with the Hammers was never going to be extended; while Thibaut Courtois’ extended transfer saga was always going to end with the Belgian at the Bernabeu.
West Ham have made some expensive mistakes in the past, but went for a cut-price approach. Lukasz Fabianski was picked up on a cut-price deal from recently-relegated Swansea; a shrewd agreement for an experienced Premier League and international goalkeeper.
While the Hammers did their business early, Chelsea seemed unprepared, for some reason. That forced the Blues into the market for a hugely expensive deal for Kepa; the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
We’ve had a look at the numbers to compare the performance of players who came to London on very different types of deals…
Fabianski has made twice as many saves this season as his London rival; 36 to 18, after exactly the same amount of games in the Premier League.
In terms of command of his area, the Pole comes out on top too. He’s made five punches to Kepa’s one, as well as seven high claims to the Spaniard’s three.
Starting attacks is a strong point for Fabianski as well; with 36 throw outs to Kepa’s 22. Kepa’s save percentage is around 5 per cent more; and obviously it is important to note that it is his first season in English football and he came without a pre-season.
Obviously the Hammers are on the back foot more often than Chelsea, which can skew the goalkeeper stats.
That doesn’t change the fact that West Ham have managed to secure an experienced Premier League performer for a fraction of the price that Chelsea have secured their goalkeeper for.
Looking at the two deals, only one looks sensible. Both men are performing well, but Fabianski is proving himself better value for money.