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Wednesday, February 20

Premier League

Maurizio Sarri: 'Kepa Arrizabalaga not better than Thibaut Courtois'

By , Editor | 6mo
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri admits that new signing Kepa Arrizabalaga is not yet at the same level as his predecessor Thibaut Courtois, despite joining for a record fee.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted that new signing Kepa Arrizabalaga is not yet at the level of his predecessor Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois joined Real Madrid yesterday in a £35m deal which also saw Mateo Kovacic move in the opposite direction on loan, while Chelsea spent a world-record sum on Kepa as the Belgian's replacement.

The Spaniard has put pen to paper on a seven-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but Sarri acknowledged that the 23-year-old still has work to do if he is to live up to the standards set by Courtois.

"I'm very happy for both. The Courtois situation was clear. He wanted to go to Madrid, so we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world now," Sarri told reporters.

"We bought a young goalkeeper, I think one of the most important amongst the young goalkeepers in Europe. I'm really happy. I'm really happy with Kovacic. He has the characteristics for us. I'm really very happy and I think now the squad is complete. Kovacic is a very technical player. He's able to play between the lines of the opponent. For us it could be very important."

When asked whether Kepa can be better than Courtois, Sarri added: "Not at the moment, for sure. He's very young, 23. I hope he can improve very fast. For the moment he's not Courtois, for sure."

Both Kepa and Kovacic could make their Chelsea debuts during their Premier League opener against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
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