Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has said that he believes that Chelsea’s new first-choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could end up costing the team a top four finish in the Premier League this season.
The Blues were forced to sign a new goalkeeper after Thibaut Courtois left to join Real Madrid earlier this month for a fee of £35 million. Courtois has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the World and won the Golden Gloves award during the 2018 World Cup as Belgium reached the semi-finals.
The Blues were forced to sell for that price as the Belgian had just one more year remaining on his contract. Had they kept Courtois, they either would have had to sell him at a bargain rate in January or risk losing him for free next summer.
Stoke City’s Jack Butland and even Arsenal’s Petr Cech became linked with the first-choice goalkeeping position at the Blues during the summer after it started to become evident that Courtois would leave. New manager Maurizio Sarri eventually settled for Kepa. Kepa arrived at the Blues from Athletico Bilbao for a fee of £71.6 million which makes him the most expensive goalkeeper in history.
He established himself as one of the best keepers in the La Liga last season and was also third choice keeper for Spain during the 2018 World Cup.
Chelsea fans were largely mixed over the signing of Kepa. He has the potential to become one of the best, however, it is debatable as to whether the Blues should have rather gone for a keeper who is experienced and who is already tried and tested in English football such as Jordan Pickford, Butland or Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel.
Carragher believes that the young Kepa could cost Chelsea a top four finish.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s hard to leave Chelsea out.
“But you think of them playing Thursday-Sunday [because of the Europa League] and the goalkeeper is still young.
“He may go on to be one of the world’s best, but it’s not Courtois. They have lost one of the world’s best.
“I think the other sides have just got the edge on them but we are talking fine margins.”