9th of August 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Chelsea have moved swiftly on the transfer market to replace departing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and they didn't spare any expenses. The Blues have confirmed the signing of Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for a new world record transfer fee for a goalie: 71.6 million pounds. The 23-year-old goalkeeper signed a seven-year contract with Chelsea and is expected to be the first-choice goalie for manager Maurizio Sarri. The previous most expensive goalkeeper in the world was Alisson Becker, who joined Liverpool from AS Roma this summer for 67 million pounds.
"It's a very important decision for me, for my career, and also for my personal life," Kepa said for Chelsea's club website. "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. This is what I aspire to do. I would like to be remembered at this club, when I leave years down the line, as a goalkeeper that has helped the club win a lot of titles and gone down in history." The youngster will most likely adapt very quickly because there are five other Spaniards in the squad at Stamford Bridge: Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Alvaro Morata.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "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." Kepa had a solid season with Bilbao in 2017-2018 and that earned him a place in the Spain squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he didn't get to play in any of his team's three matches. Chelsea have already signed veteran goalkeeper Rob Green on a free transfer earlier this summer, he will be the third-choice goalie behind Kepa and Willy Caballero.
Chelsea are 12/1 at Bet365 to win the Premier League title next season.
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