The Austrian international waited patiently for his chance last season in what was his first campaign in English football following his transfer from German Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln.
When it came, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Thrown unexpectedly into the fray when Jan Vertonghen picked up a knee injury at Crystal Palace in January, Kevin ably partnered Toby Alderweireld in the heart of our defensive line for the next nine Premier League games and also put in some sterling performances in the cup competitions.
Mauricio was pleased that Kevin stepped so seamlessly into the breach last term and believes there’s more to come from the enthusiastic 23-year-old.
“Kevin is very young and I think that his first season with us was good,” he said. “It’s important to be ready because you can only play 11 players but all the squad needs to be ready to take the opportunity.
“This is what he showed. He was ready and competed well and I think it was great for him. The competition between each other is important to try to improve our level and I think that he will be an important player for the future. It is for this that he has signed his contract.”
Kevin has clearly endeared himself to staff, players and fans alike since his arrival, as evidenced by an outpouring of support for the defender on Twitter when news broke of his new deal today. Here’s a very small sample of what our fans have been saying on social media…