Kepa Arrizabalaga (28) leaves the lease.
On the 14th (Korean time), Real Madrid officially announced on the club’s website, “The club and Chelsea have agreed on a lease contract for Kepa. The contract period is until June 30, 2024.”스포츠토토
In addition, according to European transfer market expert Fabricio Romano, it is a simple rental format with no purchase option.
Kepa joined Chelsea in the summer of 2018 for a record fee. Chelsea urgently sought after Thibaut Courtois, the main goalkeeper, transferred to Real Madrid, and paid 80 million euros (approximately 116.5 billion won) to Athletic Bilbao. This is the highest transfer fee for a goalkeeper in history.
Expectations were raised because it was Kepa, who had an impressive performance in Bilbao with 66 goals in 54 games over two seasons. And in his debut season at Chelsea, he responded by leading the team to the UEFA Europa League (UEL) title with 23 clean sheets and 54 goals conceded in 54 matches.
But the next move was disappointing. The save rate plummeted, and as mistakes became more frequent, great anxiety was formed. Occasionally, he experienced the humiliation of being pushed aside by substitute goalkeeper Willy Caballero. Eventually, Chelsea signed Eduardo Mendy and built a competitive system.
Kepa was pushed out by Mendy and became a bench resource. In the 2020-21 season, he only played 7 matches in the English Premier League (EPL). The 2021-22 season was also all 4 games. At least, he played 29 games last season and gradually improved his form, but he faced a crisis again this summer when Robert Sanchez was recruited instead of Mendy’s departure.
Kepa went on loan two years ahead of the expiration of his contract. Courtois has recently suffered a major injury to Real Madrid. On the 10th, an official announcement was made on the club’s homepage, “Courtois suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee as a result of examination. He will undergo surgery within the next few days.” And Britain’s ‘The Athletic’ explained, “Courtois suffered a cruciate ligament rupture during training, and the season is likely to be out. The best scenario is to return in April next year.” Real Madrid, which was in a hurry, began to recruit a goalkeeper, and contacted Kepa to sign a lease.
It is a simple lease agreement. Kepa will return to Chelsea after playing for Real Madrid in the 2023-24 season.