Chelsea’s pursuit of Gianluigi Donnarumma as potential free agency looms

ROME, ITALY - JULY 04: AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gestures during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on July 4, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JULY 04: AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gestures during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on July 4, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images) /

The goalkeeper position at Chelsea has been under question for the better part of two years now. A solution for Chelsea may have arrived in Edouard Mendy, but when a generational talent like Gianluigi Donnarumma becomes available, the club must pounce.

Gianluigi Donnarumma is 22 years old and hasn’t even reached his prime yet, but he’s been ever-present between the sticks for AC Milan since he was 16 years old. No wonder every top team in Europe would jump at the chance to sign him and as he enters his final months of his contract and it begs the question what is AC Milan doing and sends a signal to every team to start recruiting him today.

It’s important to point out how Chelsea got to this point in terms of not having a definite no. 1 GK which in recent history has been far from the case. When Petr Cech arrived in West London in 2004 there were questions marks regarding the signing which were quickly answered and the beginning of over a decade of service started. Come 2015 a new era began with Petr Cech moving on and Thibaut Courtois getting his chance after three outstanding years on loan at Atletico Madrid. Everyone thought that the Blues found the heir apparent to Cech’s throne, a goalkeeper who would go on to do great things in a Chelsea shirt sadly that didn’t come to fruition. In 2018 Courtois forced a move out which has left a sour taste in blues fans to this day and search for the new no. 1 continued.

Kepa Arrizabalaga was man who was tasked to fill the role, a 23 year old at the time shot stopper from Athletic Bilbao who broke Chelsea’s transfer record costing £71.6m. Now three seasons into his reign there’s been some good but an overwhelming sense of disappointment from both sides. From refusing to be subbed off to countless errors that cost us points and finally being demoted to second string keeper, Kepa’s days are numbered and the search for a new number one continues both internally and externally.  So now we are back to current moment where Edouard Mendy who arrived in September to provide competition for Kepa has now claimed his opportunity and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He has kept 12 clean sheets in the Premier League and 5 clean sheets in the Champions League and poses the question if a new goalkeeper is even needed.

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The landscape for the summer is that Kepa will be sold in all likely hood, Willy Caballero is out a contract and Cech will be in a suit come matchday. So Mendy will naturally need competition and who better than one of the best goalkeepers on the planet right now. Donnarumma has played over 200 matches in the Italian top flight and has kept over 80 clean sheets in the process all at the age of only 22 years old. So it baffles me how in less than four months’ time he become available on a free. According to several reports contracts talks between Milan and Donnarumma have stalled due to wage demands and when an opportunity to capture generational talents arrives especially on a free the board must strike first. When you are a big club like Chelsea who want to challenge for all the trophies you would be doing a disservice to the football team and the fans if you didn’t pursue the best available in any position on or off the pitch.

Challenging on multiple fronts always needs depth and having two competent goalkeepers challenging each other never hurts. When Mendy arrived, some viewed him just a placeholder or short term option but he has been nothing less than impressive, so no I am not implying you give him the boot but that club remains pro-active in recruiting the best talent out there. Donnarumma wages may be high and his agent less than pleasant to work with but despite that I believe he is worth it and this is all hypothetical speaking as he can sign a new contract with AC Milan tomorrow which could have a hefty release clause tied to it. But at this current moment a chance is available and it would be ludicrous of Chelsea if they didn’t explore it further.

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What are your thoughts do you think Chelsea should pursue Donnarumma? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!