Our new goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is confident his move to Chelsea will help improve him as a player, and the 23-year-old hopes he will be able to help the team enjoy huge success during his time at the club.
The Spaniard was unveiled to the media at Stamford Bridge this afternoon having completed his move to the Blues from Spanish side Athletic Bilbao. He could feature in our opening game of the new Premier League season away at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Kepa, who has been brought into replace the departed Thibaut Courtois, expressed his delight at becoming a Chelsea player.
‘I’m incredibly happy to be here, this is a great challenge for me and it means a lot in my career and personal life,’ said our new signing.
‘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.
‘I came back from my holiday on 23 July and a few days into my training I knew about Chelsea’s interest in me. 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.’
Kepa’s transition to his new surroundings will be helped by the fact he has five compatriots in the squad, including Cesar Azpilicueta, who was part of the Spain World Cup squad this summer, along with our new arrival.
‘Of course I know some of the players in the current team from the Spanish national side, even at the World Cup,’ he said. ‘All of them have told me what it’s like to play here and I’ve had excellent references from them about the game here. They are all very happy, very comfortable at the club and they all encouraged me to make the move and have an international experience, and it’s something I felt like doing.
‘At the end of the day I think some players take more time to adapt, others take less, everybody is different. I just hope I can adjust and adapt as soon as possible but we’re all different. It’s true the English game is different but I have a lot of friends, other Spanish players, already playing in the English Premier League and they’ve given me fantastic references about playing here. I’m really happy to be here and looking forward to joining them.’
As well as being a fantastic shot-stopper, Kepa possesses great quality with the ball at his feet, which should suit the style of play favoured by Blues boss Maurizio Sarri.
The goalkeeper, who has signed a seven-year contract at Stamford Bridge, is looking forward to working with the Italian, and setting his sights further ahead he spoke about what he hopes to achieve during his Chelsea career.
‘I think I will be able to adapt and I find his style, his ideas and how he likes to play very attractive,’ said Kepa. ‘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.’