Monday, March 27, 2023

Chelsea Set To Rival Premier League Giants For This Borussia Dortmund Custodian: What Should The Blues Do?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a recent report from the Sport1 journalist Patrick Berger is believed to be true, Chelsea are keeping close tabs on Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. But they are not alone in the hunt with Manchester United keen on the Swiss star over a potential summer transfer.

The Blues also met with the player’s entourage during their Champions League Round of 16 battle in West London. Although the Black and Yellows suffered a defeat at Stamford Bridge, Kobel is in no rush to explore a new challenge anytime soon. He is expected to stay for one more year, however, the transfer talks might gather pace in the forthcoming future given his aspiration of winning silverware.

Dortmund have scripted a resurgence under Edin Terzić but are still behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga standings. They are no more a threat in Europe, whereas the Blues have shown sheer ambition under the ownership of Todd Boehly overcoming initial stumbles.

Gregor Kobel in action against Christopher Nkunku

Chelsea have completed an array of high-profile and mega-money transfers over the past two windows. Also, they reconfigured the backroom and brought in Graham Potter to succeed Thomas Tuchel as the new chief. The former Brighton boss has been struggling to build momentum with successive wins, but his vision and brand of football should see the club gaining an identity in the long run.

Why Chelsea Must Rope Him In

Meanwhile, the West London heavyweights are expected to continue their spending splurge in the upcoming window. The arrival of Christopher Nkunku would bolster them high up the pitch, but the crisis in goal must be addressed considering the limitations of both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy.

Mendy was instrumental in their Champions League triumph a couple of years ago, but he is now the understudy to Kepa due to form and fitness reasons. Moreover, the 31-year-old Senegalese opted not to pen a contract extension. This could lead to his summer exit thus making way for a new ‘number 1’.

Despite reclaiming his starting role under Potter, Kepa has not been able to justify the ‘world’s most expensive goalkeeper’ tag following a staggering €80m switch from Athletic Bilbao. The next few months would be crucial for the Spaniard in terms of securing his Chelsea future.

Kobel, on the other hand, has been majestic since completing a €15m move from Stuttgart in the summer of 2021. He is excellent in one-on-one situations and confident with the ball at his feet. Also, the reflex and decision-making of the 25-year-old make him a perfect fit for Potter’s free-flowing passing game.

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