Opinion: Potential goalkeeping solutions for Chelsea ahead of next season

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Frank Lampard’s squad is taking shape ahead of next season and it looks like the defence and the attack are sorted, but they still need to have a keeper they can rely on.

It feels like they’ve been linked with every goalkeeper in the world in recent weeks but none of those rumours went anywhere, so here’s a look at the viable options for them next season:

Continue with a combination of Kepa/Caballero

This will absolutely be a last resort that would be the result of failing to land any of their targets, and it would probably cost them when it matters most.

Caballero looks solid enough but he’s a career back up for a reason, while his tendency to flap at crosses is never going to fill his defence with confidence.

Speaking of confidence or a lack thereof – Kepa. The Spanish keeper just looks utterly bereft of any belief, so his technique is awful and he just looks scared when the ball goes anywhere near him.

If they can somehow fix that then maybe he could be a decent option again but it’s just impossible to see that happening.

kepa caballero
The last resort

Andre Onana – Ajax

Top quality goalkeepers are rarely available and they certainly aren’t cheap if they are playing in the top leagues, so Chelsea may have to take a chance on someone like Onana who’s playing in a less important competition.

The Ajax stopper has everything you look for in a good goalkeeper – he’s dominant in the air, his reflexes are sharp, he makes good decisions and he’s very comfortable with the ball at this feet.

The links to Onana have largely gone quiet but The Evening Standard did link him with a switch to Stamford Bridge again recently. He’s untested at the highest level so that will be a concern, but Onana looks like he could be the best “reasonably priced” keeper that could also go on to become elite.

ajax goalkeeper andre onana
Onana has been superb for Ajax over the last couple of years.

Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid

The Atleti keeper is probably the only world-class keeper who could be available this summer, but a lot might depend on how he sees his team doing next season.

Atletico did have their glorious league win in 2014 but they’ve always fallen short after that, so Oblak may feel like he has to leave if he wants to regularly challenge for silverware.

One thing that might go in Atleti’s favour is the situations with Real and Barca. Barca have a new coach and appear to be in self destruct mode so they are a total unknown right now, while Real Madrid are reliant on veterans and the potential is there for the wheels to come off.

The Metro recently reported that he was unsure about the project at Atleti and Chelsea were monitoring the situation, but the reported release clause of €120m will probably be too much.

Oblak would be an incredible signing, but the price tag is too unrealistic.

atleti keeper jan oblak
Jan Oblak has firmly established himself as one of the world’s best keepers.

Alphonse Areola – PSG

Areola might be one of the more underwhelming options because he’s proven to be nothing better than a back up for PSG and Real Madrid, so Chelsea fans will rightfully wonder if he’s going to be a big enough upgrade.

The Areola rumours intensified last month when it was suggested that he had bought a house in London, but there’s not been an awful lot said since then.

He’s back at PSG after a loan spell at Real Madrid but it was clear that neither side had long term plans for him, so at least he should be available.

He’s a French international and he’s also played at a high level so he wouldn’t be a disaster, but he wouldn’t be an exciting addition either.

At least he has a house in London

Mike Maignan – Lille

Lille are quickly becoming everyone’s favourite selling club in Europe, but the report from Sky Sports that suggested Chelsea were interested in Maignan appeared to come from nowhere.

He does have the bonus that Sky think he could be available for only €30m so that’s perfectly reasonable, but he would also be a massive gamble.

He’s been Lille’s first choice for three seasons but he only comes with limited experience in Europe, so it’s impossible to know if he would handle the step up.

He’s a good all round keeper who also looks happy with the ball at his feet, but the only way of finding out if he’s good enough is to give him a chance – but Chelsea should be looking for a sure thing here.

Maignan in action against Chelsea

Honourable mentions

Dean Henderson, Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Fraser Forster and Gigi Donnarumma have all been touted at some point, but a combination of new contracts, injuries and a lack of quality in Forster’s case suggest that none of them are likely to happen.

There’s still plenty of time for new names to pop up and for Chelsea to get a new keeper in, but they’ll probably want to do it soon with the new season on the horizon.

More Stories Alphonse Areola Andre Onana Jan Oblak Kepa Arrizabalaga Mike Maignan Willy Caballero