“Something I really liked” – New Chelsea signing sheds light on club’s plans for him


Chelsea goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, who is out on a season-long loan at Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Chicago Fire, has said that the Blues’ focus on player development impressed him a lot. Slonina, 18, joined the Blues from Chicago Fire in a deal worth up to £12.3 million earlier this summer. The United States U20 international penned a six-year contract at Stamford Bridge and is set to link up with his new club in January after the end of his loan deal.

A reliable shot-stopper considered one for the future, Slonina made his professional debut in August 2021 and became the youngest MLS starting goalkeeper. He has registered 16 clean sheets in 43 appearances for Chicago. Speaking on The Call Up , Slonina expressed his excitement about his new chapter in his nascent professional career. He elaborated:

“I’ m super excited just to be in that environment and see what it’s like in the Premier League. How the coach acts when we win, when we lose, what’s the locker room look like? Just that level of pressure, I can’t wait to be in there and be in that environment.”

“The path that they showed me and presented me while I was talking to them was something I really liked. They really focused on a player’s development and making sure they’re seeing the right things, playing games and getting minutes.”

“Because obviously for a young goalkeeper, that’s super important. You can train a lot, but you still have to see those game minutes and everything. I was drawn to the fans, to the location of where it’s at. And it’s Chelsea, so it was a no-brainer.”

Apart from Slonina, the Blues made eight other additions to their squad this summer. They signed the likes of Raheem Sterling, Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella for a combined sum of over £270 million. Chelsea are seventh in the Premier League standings with ten points from six games. They will next be in action against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on October 1.

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