After moving to Stamford Bridge, Robert Sanchez has praised former Brighton team-mate Levi Colwill and has told Kepa Arrizabalaga that he wants to be Chelsea’s starting goalkeeper.
Spanish goalkeeper Sanchez was unveiled as Chelsea’s latest summer signing on Saturday in a £25m deal from Brighton.
The 25-year-old has agreed to a seven-year contract in west London after making 23 Premier League appearances for Brighton last season before losing his starting position to Jason Steele.
Mauricio Pochettino was keen to sign a new shot-stopper to provide cover and competition for current No. 1 Arrizabalaga after Chelsea sold Edouard Mendy to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli.
But after his ‘exciting’ transfer to Stamford Bridge, Sanchez wants to take over as Chelsea’s starting goalkeeper and has no intention of warming the bench there.
‘I’m really excited,’ he told Chelsea’s official website. ‘It’s an amazing opportunity to work with a coach of that level.
‘We’ve all seen what he’s done at his previous clubs. I think what he brings to clubs is really good and hopefully I suit his playing style.
‘I want to contribute and help the club win trophies. I know it will be a big challenge but I’m ready for it.
‘The opportunities this club will give me are amazing, to develop more as a goalkeeper, to keep learning and to compete for the No. 1 spot and show everyone how good I can be.’
Since Sanchez played with Colwill and fellow Blues defender Marc Cucurella at Brighton, he will run into a few old faces at Chelsea.
Colwill, who impressed while on loan at Brighton last season, is anticipated to play a significant role for Chelsea this year, while Cucurella, an ex-Seagulls star, finished a £60 million transfer to West London around this time last year.
‘I spent last season with Levi and we’ve got a really good friendship now,’ Sanchez said. ‘I think the spell at Brighton was really good for him, it got him ready for what he’s going to face at Chelsea.
‘He’s a top player and still only 19, so the sky is the limit for him.’
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Sanchez, who has two Spain caps, joined the team in 2013 at the age of 15, and made 90 appearances for Brighton.
Discussing Sanchez’s departure from the south coast club, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi said: ‘Robert is a good guy and a really good player, but being a coach sometimes means making difficult and painful decisions for the team.
‘I wish him good luck for the future.’