After months of speculation surrounding the future of Thibaut Courtois and the subsequent question of who would succeed him as the team’s number one goalkeeper, Chelsea have only gone out and broke the record for a goalkeeper transfer fee by acquiring Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for €80 million (£71.5m).
The 24-year-old has signed a seven-year (7!) deal with the club.
Chelsea Football Club on.Wednesday night announce the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 8, 2018
The 23-year-old Spanish international goalkeeper arrives ahead of the new Premier League season having signed a seven-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Kepa, who has played over 100 career league games, has solid experience at the highest level having made more than 50 appearances in La Liga, his quality earning him a call-up to the Spain squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Upon completing his move to Chelsea, he said;
“It’s a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life. So many things attracted me to the club, all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League. It’s an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well.”
Director Marina Granovskaia added;
“Kepa is a talent we have admired for a long time and we are extremely excited about his arrival. He has already demonstrated fantastic quality and consistency and will be a big part of any success Chelsea have in the coming years. His long-term contract reflects the belief we have in him and we look ahead to the coming seasons with an enormous sense of optimism.”