New Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has expressed delight in his move to Stamford Bridge after penning a massive seven-year deal with the Premier League title hopefuls.
The Spanish stopper joins the Blues as a club-record signing and is now the most expensive goalkeeper in football history, with the FA Cup holders triggering his £72m release clause at Athletic Bilbao ahead of the English top flight’s transfer deadline day.
The 23-year-old was unveiled to the press on Thursday and had a lot to say regarding his new adventure, having spent all of his career in Bilbao prior to his sensational switch.
“It’s a great step forward in my career, and very brave of the club to take me in. In terms of the price, it’s something I don’t think about. I just want to be myself, the same as I’ve always been, and try to give my best for the club.”
Kepa also revealed that there were other offers for him, as well as having known about the Blues’ interest in him for several weeks.
“I came back from my holiday on 23 July and a few days into my training I knew about Chelsea’s interest in me,” he explained. “There had been prior offers but Athletic are a club that doesn’t usually take an interest in these transfers. I’ve been aware of the interest Chelsea had for a few weeks now.’
Maurizio Sarri’s style of play is said to be a huge factor in Kepa chancing his arm and moving to the Premier League. He also claimed that players such as Pepe Reina, who played under the Italian coach at Napoli, encouraged the move by talking Sarri up.
“I think I will be able to adapt and I find his style, his ideas and how he likes to play very attractive,” the Spaniard, who could make his debut against Huddersfield this Saturday, claimed.
“I have references about him from players like Pepe Reina, who was at Napoli and knows him, and was very happy with him. Maurizio’s style is not unlike the style used with the Spanish national team where I’ve played for many years so I don’t think it will be a problem.
“What I expect to achieve in these seven years is great growth, both personally and collectively as a team. I hope we will win many titles and I hope in seven years when I look back I will be very proud of what I have achieved.”