Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri claims Kepa is NOT as good as Thibaut Courtois despite costing world record £71m

Chelsea splashed out £71.6million to snap up the 23-year-old from Athletic Bilbao after Courtois quit the club to sign for Real Madrid.

But Blues boss Sarri admits Kepa is not as good as his predecessor at the moment, but can be in the future.

He said: “The Courtois situation was clear. He wanted to go to Madrid. So we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world now.

“But we bought a young goalkeeper, I think one of the most important among young goalkeepers in Europe, so I'm really happy.”

Asked if he was a better goalkeeper than Courtois, Sarri added: Not at the moment, for sure.

"But he's very young, 23 I think. So I hope he can improve very fast.

"But, for the moment, he's not Courtois, of course."

Sarri will spend the next 24 hours deciding whether or not to throw the Spanish international in for his debut in the Premier League opener at Huddersfield.

Kepa is in the squad travelling to Yorkshire.

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But the Chelsea boss is unsure whether he has had enough time working with his new team-mates to oust Willy Caballero.

He said: “I don't know. He is in the players' list for tomorrow. But I have to decide.”

Eden Hazard will be involved against the Terriers, but Sarri has not decided whether to give him the captain’s armband this season or stick with Cesar Azpilecueta.

The Spaniard will take the armband tomorrow, and Sarri will bide his time before deciding how gets the role on a permanent basis.

He added: “For tomorrow, I think Azpilicueta. But it's not the final decision.

“I want to know well the players. I want to know well the man. Then, when my idea is clear, I will make a decision. The final one.”

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