Chelsea’s record-signing Kepa Arrizabalaga has been backed by team-mate Antonio Rudiger to fill the void left by Thibaut Courtois’ departure to Real Madrid.
Kepa, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper following his £72.1m move from Athletic Bilbao, impressed Rudiger in Chelsea’s opening-day Premier League win at Huddersfield.
Kepa had little to do on his debut as Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 victory in Maurizio Sarri’s first game in charge, but Rudiger was pleased the Spaniard’s first appearance passed without incident.
“I think he (Kepa) did well,” Rudiger said. “He tried to speak as much as he can. He did well with that and we as defenders we needed to help him and we did that.
“In general, it was a very good day. We all know Thibaut’s quality, but Thibaut’s not a Chelsea player anymore.
“I wish him good luck at Real Madrid, but now we have to concentrate on Kepa because he’s our goalkeeper. In his work, he’s very confident.”
Chelsea were found wanting in last week’s Community Shield defeat to Manchester City but proved too good for Huddersfield despite leaving World Cup stars Eden Hazard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Olivier Giroud on the bench.
“We’re happy because to be honest, our pre-season games were not that good,” Rudiger said. “But today we can be more happy because we won the game. Three goals and a clean sheet. That’s good for us.
“It’s not always easy to adapt because it’s a new style of play, but I think we did well. We moved the ball well and to have a good bench is always good.”