Kepa Arrizabalaga is one of the best young goalkeepers in all of football. For many years he has been viewed as a future star at Athletic Club and he began to realize that hype this season. After taking over the starting role from Gorka Iraizoz, the 22-year-old has become one of the top keepers in La Liga and people have begun to take notice. Over the weekend he was called up to Spain’s U21 side, where he has been the starting keeper for several years. After his call up, many began to wonder how much longer it will be before he sees his first chance with the main Spain team.
That day came sooner than anyone expected when Pepe Reina fell injured and Kepa was brought to train with the main squad. On Wednesday, Julen Lopetegui announced that Kepa would officially take Reina’s place in the squad, meaning the 22-year-old has finally received his first call to the Spain National Team. Reina, meanwhile, has left the team due to his fitness concerns.
The next step for Kepa Arrizabalaga is actually seeing game time. There is a very good chance that he could get his first minutes during this spell as well. With three keepers currently in the squad, Lopetegui will likely try to give everyone a chance to compete. Even if the Lezama graduate does not make his Spain debut, this is still a a remarkable achievement for him and it won’t be long before he is a regular face in the La Roja team.
After his time with Spain, Kepa will be back in action with Athletic Club on 1 April when the Lions travel to El Sadar to take on Osasuna. So far this season they are unbeaten in Basque Derbies and a win would go a long way to helping them climb the La Liga table. However, it won’t be an easy match. Osasuna are at the very bottom of the table and desperately need points if they want to avoid relegation.