Maurizio Sarri spoke out on the latest arrivals Mateo Kovacic and Kepa Arrizabalaga and also admitted that the Spaniard is not on Courtois’s level ‘at the moment’
Chelsea’s transfer window, for so long, appeared to be ending in a bust. Their only major incoming was Jorginho while Courtois’s remained a continuous unsettling presence in the dressing room. That all changed a day before the transfer window ended, however. Chelsea brought in Mateo Kovacic on a one-year loan deal while and also made Kepa Arrizalabalaga the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. Thibaut Courtois was in turn shipped out to his preferred destination – Real Madrid.
Sarri appeared in front of the press for the first time since the deals went through. He was asked whether he thinks Kepa is at the same level at Courtois, he replied:
“Not at the moment for sure, but he is very young. He is 23, I hope he can improve very fast. But for the moment he is not Courtois, of course.”
He also spoke about Kovacic’s arrival. The Croatian midfielder’s undoubted talent is yet to be fully exploited by any of his former managers. Sarri, however, seems to have a clear idea on how to utilise him. He said:
“Kovacic is a very technical player, [he’s able to] play between the lines of the opponent and for us I think it could be very important.”
Sarri on Kepa & Kovacic: "I am very happy for both. Because Courtois’ situation was clear. He wanted to go to Madrid so we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world. We bought a younger goalkeeper, one of the most important young goalkeepers in the world"
— The Blues (@TheBlues___) August 10, 2018
“I am very happy for both. Because Courtois’s situation was clear. He wanted to go to Madrid so maybe we lost one of the most important goalkeepers in the world.”
The Italian, in the end, expressed his joy over the transfer dealings and hailed that ‘the squad is complete’.
“We bought a young goalkeeper, one of the most important young goalkeepers in the world. Kovacic has the characteristics for us and now I think the squad is complete.”
Kovacic’s signing is an astute one while Kepa’s is one for the present, as well as the future. The goalkeeping situation has finally been sorted and Chelsea will now be hoping that no further outgoings affect the team. Sarri has a strong platform to implement ‘Sarri-ball’ and the fans will be hoping to reap its rewards as soon as possible.