Kepa to Chelsea
Chelsea confirmed the transfer on Wednesday on its website. Spain’s 23-year-old national goalkeeper signs for seven years at Stamford Bridge. He is leaving Athletic Bilbao, where he had become the focus of the top clubs through strong performances. In winter Real wanted to sign the keeper, but Athletic extended the contract until 2025 – including an exit clause of 80 million euros. Chelsea now pays this amount, making Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper in football history.
The youngster – number one in Bilbao for two years – can refer to the experience of over 50 matches in La Liga, his performances earned him a nomination in Spain’s World Cup squad for the tournament in Russia.
“A very important decision for me”
“This is a very important decision for me, for my career, but also for my personal development,” the goalie is quoted in the official Blues announcement. “A lot of things have brought me to this club, the many titles won here. The other players, the city, the Premier League – it is the accumulation of these things. “And I’m very glad Chelsea chose to trust in my abilities.”
The Londoners thus closed the gap in the goal just hours after the announcement of the change of Courtois to Madrid. “Kepa is a talent we have admired for quite some time,” Chelsea club director Marina Granovskaia is quoted. “We are very excited that he is here now. He has proven great skills and consistency and will play a major role in our success in the coming years. The long treaty reflects the trust we have in him.”
The sixth Spaniard in the Blues
Kepa is the sixth Spaniard in the line-up of the Blues – after Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Morata. He is eligible to play Huddersfield in London’s opening match of the season on Saturday. On Thursday he will start training under the new coach Maurizio Sarri.