Kepa Arrizabalaga says goalkeepers are finally getting the credit they deserve after Chelsea splashed a world record 80-million-euro fee for his services.
The Spaniard’s move came just weeks after Liverpool first broke the record in a 72.5-million-euro move for Brazilian international Alisson Becker from Roma.
Kepa, 23, completed the switch from Athletic Bilbao after Thibaut Courtois joined Real Madrid for a reported 35 million euros in a summer dominated by goalkeeper moves.
Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal also have a new number one after splashing £19 million on Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.
“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,” Kepa said on Thursday as he was unveiled at Stamford Bridge.
The young goalkeeper, who’s yet to make a competitive debut for Spain, insisted he won’t be fazed by his prize tag.
“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.
“There won’t be additional pressure on me. The only pressure I experience is the pressure I put on myself. I am a player who demands a lot from myself.”
Kepa becomes the sixth Spanish member of Chelsea’s squad, joining Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso.