Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa Arizzabalaga has revealed that he’s not focused on the world-record transfer fee which saw him emerge as the most expensive goalkeeper ever after his move from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea.
Kepa joined Chelsea as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois who left for Real Madrid. The Spain international has now insisted that he’s aware of his transfer fee but won’t let it affect his performances on the pitch.
“Obviously the price was very high – £71m is a lot of money,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I’m aware of this but given the transfer market situation and how things are going, it is normal so I don’t need to focus on the value of the transfer.
“I do need to focus on playing my football and what’s happening on the pitch rather than off it… I want to be myself and not think about it.
“I’m here now playing for Chelsea. I chose to leave my home at Athletic Bilbao and it was an important step in my career.
“I wouldn’t call it pressure [replacing Courtois], I would just say it is how the transfer market goes. He went and I came in and I’m not one to focus on the comings and going.
“I’m focused on myself and there is a great opportunity for me to come here. I wanted to take advantage of this and enjoy my football and look forward and not back.
“I’m happy here both on a personal and a team level and I’m happy here in London. Looking towards the future excites me with the possibilities we have to improve and I’m excited about what the future might bring.”
Meanwhile, he has very tough competition in the Spain national team in the person of David Da Gea, who is Manchester United’s number one.
He added: “I’m aware that De Gea is a good goalkeeper. He’s had a great career and he’s been great over a number of years.
“People were speaking at the World Cup about this situation but I need to support whoever is playing and De Gea played in the World Cup, he was playing before then as well.
“Everyone wants to play and it’s about the making the manager’s decision hard. As for me, I’m calm in the situation than I’m in and I know with effort, I can get there.”
Chelsea will now travel to face Crystal Palace in yet another tricky tie and will be keen to avoid defeat and grab all three points. Kepa understands that he’ll have to play his role nicely to ensure that Chelsea emerge from Selhurst Park with all 3 points.
“They are a hard team, especially at home, and they have got quick players,” he said.
“It’s not been an easy run of games either, it’s been physically draining and there have been lots of points at stake over the Christmas period. As a result, it’s important to be in good form.”