Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan.
The move comes after Real’s regular goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, suffered an ACL injury, leaving the Spanish giants in need of goalkeeping reinforcements. Kepa emerged as Real’s preferred choice, especially after Chelsea signed Robert Sanchez from Brighton earlier in the summer.
Kepa regained his starting position as Chelsea’s No. 1 goalkeeper last season, making 39 appearances across all competitions and keeping 12 clean sheets. The 28-year-old Spanish goalkeeper was signed by Chelsea in 2018 for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper at the time, but he faced competition for the starting spot from Edouard Mendy and was subsequently loaned out to Real Madrid.
With Courtois expected to miss most of the 2023-24 season due to his injury, Kepa’s loan move to Real Madrid allows him to step into the role of the first-choice goalkeeper for the Spanish club. The loan agreement does not include an option or obligation to buy, so Kepa will return to Chelsea after the loan period concludes.
Kepa’s departure leaves Chelsea with limited goalkeeping options, as they allowed Mendy to leave for Al Ahli earlier in the summer. Chelsea’s goalkeeping department now relies on Robert Sanchez, who made his competitive debut for Chelsea in their recent draw against Liverpool.
Real Madrid opened their La Liga campaign with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, with Kepa’s former club suffering defeat. Kepa’s move back to La Liga provides him with the opportunity to play at the highest level in his home country and help Real Madrid in their pursuit of success in both domestic and European competitions.