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Saturday 19 October 2019

Kepa believes keepers are finally getting the credit they deserve

Chelsea’s new signing becomes the world’s most expensive gloveman.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has become the world’s most expensive goalkeeper (John Stillwell/PA)
Kepa Arrizabalaga has become the world’s most expensive goalkeeper (John Stillwell/PA)

By Duncan Bech, Press Association Sport

Kepa Arrizabalaga believes the true value of goalkeepers is finally being recognised following his £72.1million move to Chelsea.

The record transfer fee for the position has been smashed twice in three weeks after Kepa moved to London from Athletic Bilbao in the wake of Liverpool paying £65million to Roma for Alisson Becker.

In filling the void created by Thibaut Courtois’ departure to Real Madrid, the 23-year-old Kepa sees the sums now being allocated for glovemen as a reflection of their growing worth.

Thibaut Courtois has left Chelsea for Real Madrid (Andrea Comas/AP)

“It’s a way to value the goalkeepers,” Kepa said at a press conference at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

“It’s great that big fees are paid for strikers and other players, but why not for goalkeepers? It’s a good way to acknowledge a good goalkeeper.

“The transfer market has gone up in price a lot in the last few years. It has to do with many different things, partly it is the contracts the clubs have with the media now.”

The seven-year deal signed by Kepa was made possible when Chelsea activated the 80million euros release clause in the Spanish international’s contract with Bilbao.

Rather than view his status as the game’s most expensive goalkeeper as a burden, however, Kepa is hoping to distance himself from the figure by focusing on his performances.

(PA Graphic)

“In terms of the price and me being the most expensive keeper in the world, it’s something I don’t think about,” he said.

“I just think about myself, be the same I’ve always been and try to give my best to the club.

“I don’t really think about the price, it’s not something that’s in my mind. Chelsea has made a great bet in taking me in.

“There won’t be additional pressure one me. The only pressure I experience is the pressure I put on myself. I am a player who demands a lot from myself.

“This has always been the same, so I try to do the best I can and give everything I have to the team.

“For my part I’m really happy to be here and I will put everything I can into repaying the trust Chelsea have put into me.

“I know some of the players who are in the current Chelsea team because I played with them in the Spanish national team.

“They have told me what it’s like to play here and I’ve had excellent references from them. They are all happy here and have encouraged me to make the move.”

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