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Journo: Chelsea “really close” to signing North American starlet after Real Madrid snub



Chelsea in pole-position to land USMNT goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina 

Transfer News: Chelsea in pole-position to land USMNT goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina 

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are now really close to signing United States international and Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

The highly-rated 18-year-old kept 5 clean sheets in 13 MLS appearances in 2022, establishing himself as the undisputed No 1 at Soldier Field. 

Standing at 6 feet and 4 inches tall, Slonina is physically imposing in stature. Besides being a reliable custodian at such a young age, Slonina also seems naturally confident with the ball at his feet, which is evident when one watches him play. 

Based on stats from last season, the Chicago keeper has a short-pass completion of 97.6%, medium-length accuracy of 95.5% and a significant 45.9% completion when picking teammates way-up front. 

Such statistics make him a valuable commodity and to little wonder, he is so highly rated by scouts. To add to that, European champions Real Madrid are pushing to get him as well, having already had a bid rejected

Due to being born to Polish parents, the young goalie has the option to represent both the Polish national team as well as the USMNT. But he seems to have chosen the latter as of now.

Will Slolina account into Chelsea’s plans for the future? 

Chelsea’s current first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy just so happens to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Still only 30, which is not considered an “old age” for a goalkeeper, Mendy looks set to be the Blues’ go-to man for goalkeeping duties for at least a few more years to come. 

Chelsea in pole-position to land USMNT goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina.
At only 18-years-old, Gabriel Slonina has the attention of Europe’s elite (Photo by Icon Sport)

Slolina, if he does sign, will be doing so at a great point in time. He can expect to get a fair shout as a potential number one, when Mendy’s peak performance starts to decline. 

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America has a rich lineage when it comes to solid goalkeepers. Tim Howard, Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller and Brad Guzan- all have had long spells in the Premier League. ‘Gaga’ Slonina, as he is more fondly known, could be next in line.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is solid and has deputised well when needed, but it remains to be seen if he could seal an exit after being clearly overtaken by the Senegal international in the pecking order. 

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