Chelsea are reportedly ready to make an offer for their LOSC Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan as priority target to replace under-performing Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The 25-year-old’s profile might pale in comparison to a few other goalkeepers Chelsea have recently been linked to, such as Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak (AS) or Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Cadena Ser).
However, considering the record £71.5m transfer fee they spent for Kepa just two years ago, it made sense if Chelsea would opt against making another huge investment on a goalkeeper.
According to a report from French outlet Le10sport, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Maignan.
While the report said there are no official bids at the moment, both teams are reportedly ready to make an offer, particularly Chelsea.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho sees Maignan as a potential heir to Hugo Lloris, but the France international does not seem to have any plans to leave North London, the report added.
On the other hand, Chelsea have reportedly planned Kepa’s departure and Maignan is said to tick a lot of boxes (Le10Sport).
Now let’s talk about Maignan himself.
Statistically superior both in shot-stopping and aerial prowess
He came through the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain, before joining Lille in 2015.
Helping Lille to finish second in the Ligue 1 last season, Maignan won the best goalkeeper award with 15 clean-sheets from 38 games (ranked second in the league).
— UNFP (@UNFP) May 19, 2019
This season, he recorded 12 clean-sheets from 24 matches (Ligue 1 ended their season early due to pandemic) which is an improvement percentage-wise compared to last season, from 39.5% clean-sheet percentage in 2018/2019 to 42.9% in 2019/20 (FBref).
In comparison, Kepa finished this Premier League season with a 24.2% clean-sheet percentage (FBref).
We can also see a significant difference in save percentage between the two; Maignan saved 70.5% of the shots on targets he faced in the league, while Kepa saved just 54.5% of his.
Another data we might want to look at is their aerial ability.
Standing just 2cm taller than Kepa (189cm or 6ft 2ins – Whoscored), Maignan (191cm or 6ft 3ins – Whoscored) stopped 11.5% crosses coming into his box (ranked third in the Ligue 1), while Kepa stopped just 7.1% of crosses he faced (ranked 10th in the Premier League).