It takes a while for a goalkeeper to adapt to the English game, be it in the shot-stopping aspect, or mentality, or the task of handling a debilitating run of fixtures over Christmas.
The former Athletic Bilbao custodian has provided the goods for Maurizio Sarri, but he has received major stick for his misbehaviour during the arduous Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
In case you are still unaware, Kepa headed into the game after having seen off a minor hamstring pull. He made a save in the 115th minute of the game to deny Sergio Aguero, thereby pulling his muscle.
Sarri called penalty shootout specialist Willy Caballero to don the gloves in the shootout and the final few minutes, but Kepa waved his fingers again and again, refusing to come off. He told the coaches he was alright, and call it a rush of blood, the youngster probably wanted to take home the hero's tag after the game.
If looked at the moral side of it, a keeper who has kept his side in the game for almost two hours would ideally want to continue in goal, but one simply cannot exercise player power over the boss' ideologies and tactics.
And who knows, a former Manchester City player in Caballero could have steered Sarri to his first-ever trophy at the top level?
Kepa apologised, and he was benched for the game against Spurs, but matters have been handled well by the club. A lot of fans might still be fuming at him, but he is an invaluable asset to the team at present.
And here, we'll discuss three reasons why Kepa is still a key player for Chelsea.
#1 The age factor
Most undoubtedly, Kepa, being a goalkeeper, is still taking his baby steps if viewed through the spectrum of top-tier, fast-paced football.
He has a lot to improve, and certainly, the Spaniard has shown glimpses of how good he can be in between the sticks. For sure, should he stay fit and continue to work, he is destined to be a Chelsea legend - arguably a bigger one than Petr Cech himself.
Apart from the last-gasp nature of the deal that brought him to West London, age was a huge factor behind Chelsea dishing out big money.