Ben Jacobs reveals Kepa Arrizabalaga is likely to leave Chelsea after making the loan move to Real Madrid
Transfer journalist Ben Jacobs has given a transfer update on Chelsea loanee Kepa Arrizabalaga and confirmed that the goalkeeper is likely to leave the West Londoners once his loan at Real Madrid ends at the end of the 2023-24 season.
Kepa has returned to Spain, but this time to a different club, as he joined the Spanish capital for a season-long loan stint following the season-ending injury to Thibaut Courtois. In many ways, this temporary arrangement is a win-win for all parties.
The 28-year-old has also revealed in his recent interview that he wants to remain beyond his contract at Real Madrid, giving the Blues a reason to sell him permanently. After all, he has shown little to suggest there is a bright future at Stamford Bridge.
“I do think it’s likely that Kepa will leave, simply because Chelsea have brought in another goalkeeper. They’ve got Gabriel Slonina, who will have developed even further in 12 months, and Robert Sanchez is seen as the No. 1 at the football club. Before the surprise move came about, Pochettino was genuinely considering both Kepa and Robert Sanchez.”
While Pochettino was open to playing Kepa in the first XI, the Spaniard’s exit gives Sanchez the opportunity to make the position his own. Should he succeed, it could more or less spell the end for Kepa’s career at Stamford Bridge. A transfer next summer could be the best foot forward for all parties.
Knowing that we presently have two good goalkeepers, we don’t need to stress too much about Kepa’s future. It makes sense that the former Athletic Bilbao custodian is unlikely to return to West London given how quickly he left Chelsea when Real Madrid came knocking. Although Sanchez would have served as competition, had he stayed, he would have been our starting custodian. However, he made the decision to depart, and Chelsea didn’t bother stalling his move to the Spanish club.
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What will happen, though, once Courtois is fit? Will Kepa resume his role as a backup custodian? When the Belgian custodian returns, Real will undoubtedly prefer to start Courtois over Kepa. At Chelsea, he could have been the starter. But letting Sanchez have the spotlight could prove ton be a faux pas.