Kepa thanks Sarri for confidence following £71m Chelsea transfer

Comments()
The goalkeeper put in one of his best displays on Thursday night as his side were made to work for a win in the Europa League

Kepa Arrizabalaga is enjoying life at Chelsea since his £71 million ($93) move from Athletic Club in the summer, but admits that he still is adapting to the physicality of the English game.

The young goalkeeper just turned 24-years-old the day before Chelsea's 1-0 win over MOL Vidi at Stamford Bridge, where he made a few big saves to avoid seeing his side upset by one of the minnows of the Europa League.

The £71m fee is a world record for a goalkeeper and Kepa is happy that Chelsea decided to pay it as he is enjoying his adaptation process to a new league and culture.

"There are differences with the Spanish football," Kepa said at Stamford Bridge to Omnisport. "The player is less protected, inside the box as well. So, the rhythm is high but at he end of the day is football and it is the atmosphere around very nice.

"I am happy, especially for the victory of the team. It is true it has been tougher than it should have been. It has been hard to get the goal, even though we did have some chances to make it earlier, but we didn't get the goal. However, I think we did a good game and we control the possession. I am happy to get the three points.

"I am really happy how the things are going right now. How this experience has begun, the results, my feelings and the team’s ones. It's still early, the season is long but I am really happy how the things are going.

"It's normal that when someone pay that amount of money they talk about your transfer. You have to show your value but I am not focused on my price, I am just trying to do my job. I am really grateful for his confidence to sign me. Obviously he was key for me joining the club. I feel really comfortable on the way he likes to play, I am so happy and grateful."

Article continues below

The activation of Kepa's release clause came as a shock to those at Athletic, whose policy is to only sign footballer who were born in the Basque country.

The Chelsea goalkeeper was replaced by 21-year-old Unai Simon, who only made his La Liga debut after Kepa left. Kepa admits he still has his eyes on his hometown club and likes to return whenever he can to see his friends in the region.

"Yes, obviously I follow Athletic, how couldn't I? I often speak to my team mates and friends who are there," he added. "I was back to Bilbao last international break and I will be back again for this one to meet them. I will carry on doing this."

Next article:
Mourinho's 'raw emotion' in Chelsea touchline drama no problem for Neville
Next article:
The Van Dijk factor - Why Liverpool's record-breaking defence is powering their title challenge
Next article:
Man Utd meltdown shows why Sarri wanted lethal Higuain
Next article:
PSG's Tuchel hopes Verratti and Di Maria can face Napoli
Next article:
Our heads were in Manchester – Allegri left fuming at Juventus' loss of focus
Close