I'm Ready for the Challenge "... Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez On Signing For Chelsea From Brighton.

Chelsea have on Saturday confirmed the signing a new goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez from Brighton and Hove Albion for £25 million, which is inclusive of add-ons and a sell-on clause.

The Spaniard is set to provide competition for his fellow compatriot Kepa Arrizabalaga for the number one shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Sanchez, who left his homeland to sign with Brighton at just 15 years old has progressed through the club’s academy. 

He enjoyed successful loan spells at Forest Green Rovers and Rochdale before establishing himself as the Seagulls’ first-choice goalkeeper during the 2020/21 campaign, making 87 Premier League appearances so far.

His performances during the 2021/22 campaign, his first full season as Brighton’s number one – helped the Seagulls keep 11 top-flight clean sheets, a club-record in a single Premier League campaign.

Sanchez has since lost his place under manager Roberto De Zerbi last season, with Jason Steele the Italian's preferred No.1 goalkeeper, and the Seagulls have since signed Bart Verbruggen this summer as his replacement.

The 25-year-old was left out of Brighton’s pre-season squad on a number of occasions at the end of last season and did not travel on the club's pre-season tour.

He has now signed a seven-year contract with the Blues, and will soon join up with the first-team squad at Cobhams.

Chelsea were looking to strengthen their goalkeeping ranks after selling Senegal shot-stopper Edouard Mendy to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli earlier this summer.

Sanchez will now reunite with Ben Roberts, his former goalkeeping coach at Brighton who is also at Chelsea.

He becomes the Blues' seventh summer signing following the arrivals of Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi, Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu, Angelo and Diego Moreira.

Chelsea’s statement read in part: ‘welcome to Chelsea, Robert The Spaniard has penned a seven-year contract with the Blues and joins our senior goalkeeping ranks alongside Kepa Arrizabalaga and Marcus Bettinelli in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.

“Welcome to Chelsea, Robert!”

Robert Sanchez said after the transfer; "Chelsea is the best choice I could have made because the opportunity they presented in front of me is amazing, to develop more, to keep learning and to compete for the number 1 spot and show everybody how good I can be and play for the club in years to come.

"Stamford Bridge has the history that it has, the legends it has created, I just want to be part of that.

“As a keeper of my style, can be massive, powerful, low body, stay slim, strong arms obviously. I'm read for the challenge”

On manager Pochettino he said: “I’m really excited, amazing opportunity to work with a coach of that level. And obviously watched him with his past clubs with what he’s done, and I think what he brings to the club, the family ambience around the players is really good and his play style is something I think I suit really well”

Speaking after the move, Chelsea Co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart told the club’s official website that;

“We’re very pleased to welcome Robert to Chelsea, and he adds further quality to our goalkeeping unit.

“Robert has repeatedly proved himself in the Premier League and been capped by his country. We are excited to watch him work with Mauricio and his coaching team during the season ahead.”

Internationally, Sanchez has been capped twice by Spain’s national team since making his debut for La Roja in a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Georgia, that season and was named in the squads for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

According to reports, Chelsea is still in contention to sign the £100 million-rated Moises Caicedo from Brighton.

Following a disappointing campaign last season that saw them finish 12th, and miss out entirely from all European competitions, the  West London club begin their 2023-24 Premier League campaign against Liverpool at Stamford on Sunday, 13 August. (4:30pm).

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