Kepa Arrizabalaga, a man famously known as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, is currently on loan from Chelsea FC to Real Madrid this season. He apparently intends to stay there, sending a not so subtle message to his parent club recently. In an interview El Chiringuito TV, he spoke about his future, and stated:
“I’m very happy here. Who doesn’t want to stay at Real Madrid?”
Pretty straight-forward there! Whether or not it happens remains to be seen. Kepa was signed from Athletic Club in 2018 for a fee of €80 million, and no new GK signing has elicited a transfer fee surpassing that amount. Kepa was brought to the Santiago Bernabeu to stand in for the injured No. 1, Thibaut Courtois, who is out for the season (or close to it) with a knee injury.
Coincidentally, Arrizabalaga, (who has largely been considered a major flop at Stamford Bridge) was signed by Chelsea five years ago as a direct replacement for Courtois, who is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world. The Belgian would unquestionably get his No. 1 position in between the sticks back once he recovers and returns.
On the Chelsea side, Kepa was replaced by countryman Robert Sanchez, who moved over from Brighton & Hove Albion, and the west London side doesn’t seem to have missed a beat. Additionally, Djordje Petrovic was signed in the summer to provide depth. Chelsea also have Addison, Illinois native and ex- Chicago Fire shot-stopper Gaga Slonina waiting in the wings, potentially, as their goalie of the future.
So yeah, I think they’re good with Kepa bolting, if Carlo Ancelotti decides he wants to keep him. Adios, flop!
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.