Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe likes Kepa Arrizabalaga ‘a lot’ and could sanction a move when the transfer window opens, according to Spanish sources (via Sport Witness).
Arrizabalaga became the most expensive goalkeeper in history of football when he moved from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea in a £71million deal four years ago (via BBC Sport).
After playing 36 Premier League games in his first season at the club and 33 in his second, he lost the no. 1 spot to Edouard Mendy in 2020 (via Transfermarkt). He’s made 15 appearances for Thomas Tuchel’s side this season, 11 of which have come in cup competitions.
The Spaniard was the penalty shoot-out hero in August’s UEFA Super Cup against Villarreal but missed the decisive spot-kick in February’s League Cup final against Liverpool.
Arrizabalaga’s Transfermarkt value has fallen from a high of £54million in the summer of 2019 to just £9million, an 83% decrease. His £155,000-per-week contract does, however, have another three years to run.
The report (via SW) states that Howe is personally a big fan of Arrizabalaga and has gained fresh confidence about a potential move since Chelsea were put up for sale.
Newcastle very much ‘have their eye’ on the 27-year-old ahead of the summer.
Should Newcastle sign Kepa?
Howe seems determined to strengthen the goalkeeper position this summer.
Newcastle fans may have fond memories of Kepa too – the Chelsea man once made a key mistake at St James’ Park, failing to keep out Isaac Hayden’s 94th-minute header in a 1-0 win in January 2020. BBC Sport’s Alistair Magowan wrote at the time that the ‘keeper ‘could have done more to prevent the winner going in’.
But Howe clearly prefers to focus on how good he can be at his best, and he may even share the view of Chelsea coach Arno Michels that Arrizabalaga is ‘very reliable’ and is able to ‘read the mind’ of a striker.
In other news, read about another goalkeeper link.
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