On August 8, 2018, Spanish top flight side, Athletic Bilboa announced that Kepa Arrizabalaga, their goal keeper at that time, had paid his release clause of 80 million Euros. Later that day, Chelsea confirmed that they have signed the Spanish goalkeeper for the earlier reported amount, making Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper signing in history (a record that was previously held by Alisson Becker on his move to Premier League giants, Liverpool.
Chelsea, a club usually cautious while buying players in the transfer market, buying a goalkeeper for a world record fee like that didn’t sound right. However the reasons behind the transfer of Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea at that time were based on four reasons:
1. The departure of Thibaut Courtois
2. The fact that the deadline of the 2018 summer transfer window was fast approaching.
3. The fact that Kepa Arrizabalaga was one of the few highly rated goalkeepers who was good with his feet at that time.
4. The fact that Kepa had recently signed a new contract at that time which had a 80 million Euros release clause.
Kepa ended the 2018/19 season with an Europa league trophy with Chelsea. He had a good season and was particularly instrumental in Chelsea’s Europa league win against Eintracht Frankfurt as he said two penalties in the Semi final shootout.
The 2019/20 season began with a new manager (in person of Frank Lampard), new defenders (in person of Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori who were on loan the season before), the departure of Eden Hazard and David Luiz. Kepa Arrizabalaga had a tough time in goal throughout the whole season. Along with Chelsea’s terrible defence, he was blamed for the terrible defensive record Chelsea had in last season’s Premier League.
In late January 2020, Kepa was dropped in favour of second choice goalkeeper, Willy Caballero. Caballero went on to mind the goalpost for Chelsea for four league matches and a Champions League match. However, Kepa got back his place and impressed in a FA cup win over Liverpool. After a game against Everton, Premier League football was halted on account of fears about COVID-19 impact on football.
Kepa’s dreadful form continued when football resumed in July and the Spanish goalkeeper would go on to be criticized for goals conceeded against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and some other teams in the league.
Chelsea has been having a really great transfer window lately. They have signed attackers and defenders and have recently tabled a second bid for Rennes goalkeeper. However, the question still remains: is Kepa Arrizabalaga staying at Chelsea for the 2020/21 season or would he be sold or shipped on loan to another club?
Our answer is strictly a NO! And we have good reasons too. Here they are:
1. Kepa cost a lot of money
Chelsea paid 80 million Euros for Kepa Arrizabalaga and selling him now would mean suffering financial losses. Based on his current form, Kepa is probably worth not more than 40 million Euros and that is a big drop from what Chelsea paid for him.
2. Chelsea’s defensive acquisitions seem to say otherwise
This is another why Chelsea will not sell Kepa Arrizabalaga. Recently, Chelsea announced te transfer of Thiago Silva
which certainly means they are aware of Chelsea’s defensive frailities. In other news, Chelsea also acquired the services of a new coach from wigan whose so is sorting out defences. It seems unlikely Chelsea would sell Kepa if so much is put in place for jazzing up the defense.
3. Petr Cech’s recent statement
Cech recently spoke about Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future at Chelsea in a interview that was shared via Goal. The former Chelsea goalkeeper said:
“Kepa struggled last season, that is unquestionable.
“But the club invested in him and gave him a long-term contract because they believe he has the qualities and attributes to be successful.
“Additions will be made to the squad, perhaps even in goal, and this is what is being discussed now.
“But nobody is giving up on Kepa and we all hope he has a great future.”
This could only mean that Kepa won’t be leaving this transfer window or hopefully any windows at all.
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