Among Chelsea’s interesting signings from this summer was Gabriel Slonina, the American goalkeeper who has stayed at Chicago Fire on loan to continue his development.
America has a strong history of producing good goalies, with Brad Friedel among the best known.
The former Blackburn and Tottenham goalie know Slonina well, as he explained in quotes picked up by Football.London.
“I know Slonina well. I have watched him a lot. He is one for a long way ahead. Chelsea, in my opinion, are not signing him to play right now. I would assume they would be looking for loans for him.
“Chelsea, look at their number 1 and 2, and the amounts they paid for them, and the amounts they pay to them, and their ages. There is a long way to go to be Chelsea’s number one. I would assume they purchased him as a project for the future.”
His words do make sense – you rarely see young goalkeeper given a chance in the first team in the Premier League anyway, especially in the top teams, and despite their respective issues it’s hard to see them being displaced by a teenager who has only ever played in MLS.
In fact, if both continue to play poorly, it feels more likely a veteran alternative is brought in than it is that Slonina is parachuted in mid season.
For now, it’s great for Slonina to just be picking up so much game time as a youngster, and we shouldn’t get overexcited and expect him to come to the first team anytime soon.