Jamal Blackman has been at Chelsea since the under-13 level, progressing through the academy ranks, but stagnating on the fringes of the first-team for what seems like a few years now. Through the end of the 2014-15 season, he had made 94 youth appearances in total. He went on his first loan last season, to Middlesbrough but managed only a single appearance: a highly eventful cup clash against Liverpool that was decided via a penalty shoot-out.
This season, after Thibaut Courtois' injury, there was an evident lack of faith in the 22-year-old in the role of backup keeper, as Chelsea went out and signed the recently retired Marco Amelia instead to fill the spot behind Asmir Begovic. With Courtois now back, Blackman had slipped down to fourth choice.
Standard directors visited Chelsea a few weeks ago and hope to get some youngsters on loan, like Jamal Blackman. pic.twitter.com/ENqk5EaiKI— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) December 22, 2015
According to reports, Jamal has been on trial at Belgian outfit Standard Liege since last week, after the club's directors visited Chelsea on a recruiting trip. The trial will last until Thursday, after which a decision will be taken. It is suggested that the trial is being conducted only to take the goalkeeper on loan, at least for now.
With Standard Liege currently looking for a new number one goalkeeper — especially if fellow youngster Guillaume Hubert is sold in January — this could be the perfect opportunity for Blackman to establish himself at a higher level. Good luck, Jamal!