Patience is not a virtue Chelsea should practice when it comes to bringing in a new goalkeeper for the upcoming domestic season.
News is beginning to heat up about the keeper situation for Chelsea going forward. It has been a topic of massive speculation in the media for months now—and for good reason. If the Blues do not acquire a new and improved shot stopper, they will not be able to compete with the best Europe has to offer next season.
Forget patience and forbearance, Chelsea needs a new world class goalkeeper or all the other terrific signings may still leave the Blues short of the prizes the club and its fans crave—both the Premier League and Champions League trophies.
The latest rumors cite keeper Edouard Mendy from Stade Rennais as a possible purchase for the Blues. He’d almost certainly be an upgrade on Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Senegalese keeper has great height, a fantastic reach and good reflexes. But if Chelsea really sees Mendy as someone who would only compete with Arrizabalaga and not immediately be handed the starting position, the club is wasting its time and money on him. It will be throwing good money after bad without solving the problem. That’s not good business and may very well result in yet another spending gaffe on the keeper position in upcoming windows. The solution is not rocket science: the Blues need a new world class keeper.
Comments that no one has given up on Arrizabalaga by the vaunted Petr Cech make sense in one context, and that is club economics. The sole reason for the Blues to keep the Spaniard at the club is the desire not to concede that the decision to commit such a vast transfer fee for the young keeper in the first place was a colossal blunder. He cost a fortune and a lot—if not most—of that will not be recouped. That’s a problem, but it’s reality and the club needs to get over it.
Not selling or loaning Arrizabalaga will only maintain a sore spot for the manager and keep a disgruntled player who is clearly not up to the very demanding standards of the Blues on the bench, Cech’s comments notwithstanding. What’s done is done and what’s past is past. There is little the team can do now to undo the economic damage. Yet, keeping him on the squad and/or pitch will just cause the team continued anguish and ongoing problems.
No matter how it is spun for management to try to save face, it’s best for the club and even for the player himself to move on. The Blues put the team’s future success at risk by keeping Arrizabalaga. He has lost the support of his manager and almost certainly of his fellow players—it’s an untenable situation.
Clearly, the club needs this new keeper, now. In short, Chelsea should sell or loan Arrizabalaga as soon as possible and bring in a top keeper, ready to command the position for five to ten years. Maybe it’s Mendy, but if he’s looked upon as a stopgap of any kind, it is not worth the effort or expense.
Chelsea needs to purchase a young, extremely talented—yet experienced—keeper who can grow and thrive along with the other pieces of the new, dynamic puzzle under Lampard. The club has to just do the right thing and move forward; nothing else will do.