Kepa Arrizabalaga has revealed being the world’s most expensive goalkeeper does not put any extra pressure on him while also saying his move to London from Bilbao was an important gamble to make.
Following Thibaut Courtois’ long-touted transfer to Real Madrid, Chelsea decided to trigger Kepa’s release clause in his contract with Athletic Bilbao. The £71.6 million fee the Blues paid to bring the 23-year-old from Spain to England saw them smash the world record fee for a goalkeeper, eclipsing the £66.9 million fee Liverpool paid to sign Alisson from Roma.
But Kepa insists his massive price tag does not put a heavy burden on his shoulders. “It’s the price it is because the market is like that, too,” said the goalkeeper. “Higher and higher fees are being paid and I see it as a consequence of the market.”
The Spaniard has had a promising start at Chelsea, having started in all four league games, as expected, while he has also kept two clean sheets in the process. Kepa says the encouraging results on the pitch has helped him settle at West London. “I’m getting used to my new life: a new city, new team… but it’s been positive because when things start well on the pitch, it makes everything easier.”
He also added that having compatriots already at Stamford Bridge has been helpful in his transition at the club. “I have felt valued. In the last few years, a lot of Spaniards have done important things here and that’s good for those of us to arrive most recently.”
Lastly, Kepa believes moving to the West London side from his childhood club was a necessary risk to take. “This is a great club, who in recent years have won the Champions League, Europa League, the Premier League… it’s a team with great players. It was an important gamble and I’m happy to take this step. I want to enjoy it.”