Chelsea news: Kepa Arrizabalaga reveals how David De Gea helped kick-start Blues career

KEPA ARRIZABALAGA says David de Gea is partly to thank for his impressive start to life at Chelsea.

Keeper Kepa knows the Manchester United No.1 well from their time together on international duty with Spain.

And he has acknowledged the role De Gea has played in helping him settle in England.

De Gea, 27, struggled with the physicality of the Premier League when he first arrived from Atletico Madrid seven years ago.

But he has gone on to become arguably the best keeper in the top flight since then and Arrizabalaga did not hesitate to tap into his experience.

The Blues ace, 24, said: “Every player settles into a new league in different ways.

“David and I are different to each other but he’s a team-mate with the national team and we get on really well.

“When I signed for Chelsea, he gave me some advice, telling me a bit about how it was for him when he came here. Of course, he has been here for years now and is playing at a fantastic level.

“We were at the World Cup together and did have a chat about the differences between Spanish and English football.

“That’s a good thing, interacting with a goalkeeper who has so much experience in the Premier League.

“At the end of the day, football in England and Spain is a little different in the way it is played.

“You need a little time, the usual sort of time it takes to get to know your team-mates and the league itself, but all good generally, I’m very happy.”

Arrizabalaga, who was impressive again against Hungarian side Mol Vidi in Chelsea’s 1-0 Europa League victory on Thursday, insists he does not think about his price tag.

But instead he is focused on making sure his new side are fighting on as many fronts as possible come the business end of the season.

He added: “We’re working to still be in the mix when there are five or eight league games left, and involved in every competition possible by the time we get to March and April. We have to still be alive in every competition around that period.

“The idea is to win trophies and we want to build a team that can win things, build a team that can be fighting on all fronts. We are on the right track.

“We’ve only just started but gradually we are starting to play better and better.”

Much credit must go to new manager Maurizio Sarri and to Eden Hazard, who is back to his best this season.

Arrizabalaga, who has played against Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in La Liga, said: “Eden is a hugely important player for us, he shows that in every match.

“I don’t know where he is in that whole Messi-Ronaldo debate but he’s pretty close to both.

“He is also younger than them and he has plenty of years ahead of him where he will be in contention for the trophies for best player in the world.”

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