Kepa completes season-long loan move to Real Madrid after Courtois injury blow

News Desk
Kepa Arrizabalaga during a match.
Kepa Arrizabalaga during a match.

Chelsea have announced that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has completed a season-long loan move to La Liga giants Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old Spain international, who joined the Blues in a £71.6million switch from Athletic Bilbao in August 2018, is contracted at the Bernabeu until June next year.

Real needed a new keeper after Thibaut Courtois was ruled out for the majority of the season with an ACL injury.

A statement on Real’s official website said: “Real Madrid CF and Chelsea FC have agreed on the loan of the player Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is linked to the club this season, until June 30, 2024.

“In his five seasons at Chelsea, he has won one Champions League, one Club World Cup, one European Super Cup and one Europa League.

“This year, he has received the award for the best save in the Premier League for the 2022-2023 season.

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“Kepa is an international with the Spanish team, with which he has been proclaimed champion of the 2023 Nations League. With Spain, he also won the U19 European Championship in 2012.”

Kepa will be formally presented as a Real Madrid player on Tuesday afternoon.

His return to Spain follows the arrival of 25-year-old compatriot Robert Sanchez at Stamford Bridge.

Sanchez made a £25million switch from Brighton earlier this month and started Sunday’s 1-1 home draw with Liverpool as youngster Lucas Bergstrom provided the back-up on the bench.

Kepa has 163 Chelsea appearances under his belt and was handed the captaincy last season.

However, he has become surplus to requirements under new boss Mauricio Pochettino and will now work for a season under former Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti.

A statement on the club’s official website said: “Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has completed a season-long loan move to LaLiga side Real Madrid.

“The club wish him well for the season ahead in Madrid, where he will work with former Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti.”