Sunday, December 9

Premier League

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

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.
By , Assistant Editor | 4mo

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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford156271821-320
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford156271821-320
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249
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