Newcastle United are interested in signing Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan because of his ability on the ball.
The Athletic report that the Spanish stopper has ‘long been tracked’ by Newcastle due to his qualities with the ball at his feet and the Magpies are ‘contemplating’ a loan offer.
Ever since Edouard Mendy arrived at Stamford Bridge from Rennes in September 2020, Kepa has firmly found himself as the Blues’ number two.
It’s quite the fall from grace for the 27-year-old who was signed from Athletic Bilbao for £71m – the highest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper, and a club record transfer (BBC Sport).
Kepa, who is evidently out of favour for both club and country, desperately needs a change of scenery to get his career back on track.
Could Newcastle over Kepa Arrizabalaga a lifeline?
Newcastle’s preference this summer is not to blow a huge portion of their budget on signing a goalkeeper on a permanent deal.
It could well mean that with Sam Johnstone’s contract expiring at West Brom at the end of the season, Newcastle snap up the England international on a free transfer.
While Dean Henderson and Bend Leno have also featured in conversations about summer plans, Kepa could be the man PIF target.
The pursuit of Kepa and the interest in signing a ball-playing centre-back indicates that Eddie Howe is going to want all of his players to be comfortable on the ball, including his goalkeeper.
Playing out from the back is something that Kepa is more than comfortable undertaking, but the Spanish internatioanl does have a big error or lapse in concentration in him.
But if that’s the style of play Howe is keen to instil at St James’ Park then it does make sense why Newcastle United are reportedly so keen to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan next season.