Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Chelsea Register Shock Interest In FC Barcelona Superstar: Does It Make Sense?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to El Nacional, Chelsea are in the market for Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The FC Barcelona goalkeeper is facing an uncertain future at the club, with the Catalans open to a potential sale in light of their financial crisis. It has put a host of clubs on red alert, with Chelsea joined by Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Tottenham in the list of clubs keen on snapping him up.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s Recent Struggles At Barca

Formerly of Gladbach, Marc-Andre ter Stegen was always valued as one of the top five goalkeepers in the world, just a few years since his breakthrough at Barcelona. Even during bad times, the German was one of the pillars of the Catalonian side, often producing excellent performances in between the sticks.

That has changed recently, with ter Stegen struggling with form and inconsistency. Especially after his surgery, the goalkeeper has struggled to replicate his earlier performances, even failing to reinvent his trademark skill in possession.

The former Gladbach starlet has notably registered a save percentage of just 66% this season. It is the 15th lowest in the league and the lowest for the German since the 2015/16 campaign when he had featured in just seven league matches all season.

Ter Stegen’s apparent downfall has even led to him not being considered ahead of the likes of Kevin Trapp in the German national team. It won’t be surprising to see him miss out from the squad entirely during next year’s World Cup either if he maintains his poor run of form.

Stat courtesy: FBRef

Chelsea target ter Stegen
BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 20: Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Barcelona and Dinamo Kiev at Camp Nou on October 20, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
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Why Chelsea Should Stay Away From Ter Stegen

Chelsea’s pursuit of a high-profile goalkeeper like Marc-Andre ter Stegen is quite baffling considering the fact that they already have one of the most in-form ‘keepers in Europe, in the form of Edouard Mendy.

The Senegalese international has been flawless in between the sticks this season, even getting Ballon d’Or calls from his teammates and experts across Europe. Moreover, it is fair to point out the failure Chelsea had with the high-end purchase of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Therefore, investing in a star player like ter Stegen could cause major problems in the Chelsea camp. The German’s hefty wage demands can disrupt the balance in the dressing room while the goalkeeper’s evident decline doesn’t even make him a sensible option from a pure sporting perspective.

Hence, the Blues would be better advised to drop their interest in the Barcelona goalkeeper and set their sights on a more cost-effective alternative, who can replace Kepa and offer back-up for Mendy.

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