David Luiz hails ‘great keeper’ Kepa
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been hailed as “a great keeper” by Chelsea defender David Luiz as his move to Stamford Bridge draws nearer.
David Luiz backed Kepa Arrizabalaga to succeed as Chelsea’s new first-choice goalkeeper after the club met the Spaniard’s transfer release clause to pave the way for his move to London.
It was confirmed by Bilbao on Wednesday that Kepa’s €80million release clause had been triggered, but Blues centre-back David Luiz believes the fee is immaterial.
Kepa is expected to become Chelsea’s number one with Thibaut Courtois edging closer to a move to Real Madrid.
David Luiz expressed his admiration for Kepa, telling reporters: “He is a great keeper, that is why everybody is talking about him.
“The financial side – every club in the world spends money, not just Chelsea.
“The numbers don’t matter, we are happy because Chelsea are always doing the best for the club.
“When you play for Chelsea you have to think about titles, it doesn’t matter the name of the competition. We have to always try to win.
“That has to be the mentality of every single player when you play for a big club like Chelsea. We are going to fight for that.”
Kepa came up through Athletic’s youth ranks and gained experience on loan at Ponferradina and Real Valladolid before making 53 LaLiga appearances in his last two seasons.
Athletic midfielder Ander Iturraspe paid tribute to his departing team-mate, but said the team would remain competitive in his absence as they aim to improve on last season’s 16th-place finish.
“It is a shame but this goes on,” Iturraspe told reporters. “We have two other goalkeepers.
“I wish Kepa the best of the world.
“Everyone has their priorities. Some of them leave, others stay. Important players have left and we have had good results, except last season.”