Chelsea staff are said to be huge admirers of Gabriel Slonina – although he may not be at Stamford Bridge next season.
That is according to Fabrizio Romano.
What’s the story?
Well, Chelsea signed the 19-year-old from Chicago Fire in a £12m deal back in August 2022.
Slonina has since made eight appearances for Chelsea’s Under-21 side, but has never played for the first-team.
Now – despite being highly rated by those at Stamford Bridge – the United States international might have to wait a little longer for a senior debut, as Chelsea hold talks about loaning him to Eupen.
Romano told Caught Offside’s The Debrief podcast: “The Chelsea coaching staff are very happy with young keeper Gabriel Slonina, but he seems likely to be loaned out.
“He’s a very talented, hard working boy, but he’s still only 19 and so experience will be important for him. From what I understand there is a very advanced negotiation with Belgian club Eupen for him to go there on loan for one season – they are the favourites, but let’s see if other clubs enter the race.”
Chelsea must not block the pathway of Gabriel Slonina
As you may have heard, Chelsea are in talks to sign Robert Sanchez from Brighton as competition for Kepa Arrizabalaga.
While the Spain international would represent a fairly cheap and sensible signing, Chelsea must be considerate of potentially blocking Slonina’s pathway into the first-team.
In our view, Sanchez should not be offered a long-term contract, as that would potentially keep Slonina out of the starting XI for years.
£12m is a lot to spend on a teenage goalkeeper, and Chelsea should start to put their trust in the American as a viable first-team player from next summer onwards, should he enjoy a strong loan spell in the 2023/24 campaign.