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Chelsea backup goalkeeper confirms contract renewal dilemma

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Tough to find pictures of Amelia that don't need to be cropped to the extreme.
Tough to find pictures of Amelia that don't need to be cropped to the extreme.
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Remember Marco Amelia?

The veteran Italian goalkeeper almost played for Chelsea at one point earlier this season, but the closest he got after signing as a free agent in October was the Chelsea bench.  But unless we give him an honorary few minutes at some point towards the end of the season, there's little chance he'll come even that close ever again (barring another injury to Thibaut Courtois or something happening to the steadily reliable Asmir Begovic).  He's pretty much the 2015-16 edition of Magnus Hedman, who joined as emergency cover in 2006 but never made it farther than Henrique Hilario's backup.

Hedman, as evidenced by his visits to Cobham, is still on fantastic terms with the club and it sounds like Amelia's relationship is just as amicable despite the lack of competitive playing time.  Coming out of retirement to sign with Chelsea, Amelia no doubt knew what he was getting into, so it's unsurprising that there should be no harsh feelings.  What's perhaps more surprising is that Amelia does apparently have the option to extend for another year, which is seemingly posing a bit of a dilemma for the 33-year-old.

"I like it here and I'm trying to make my contribution in the dressing room.  I do not know what will happen because I have an option to renew the contract.  We will see whether to renew or choose another way.  For me it's been a great experience, I've learned to live a different kind of football.  It will be very useful for my future and what I want to do after the end of my playing career."

-Marco Amelia; source: TMW via Google Translate

Amelia had already been involved in coaching and managing in the Italian lower leagues before signing with Chelsea.  I could see him continue in such capacity here, while still fulfilling third or fourth goalkeeper duties to allow youngsters like Jamal Blackman and Mitchell Beeney to head out on loan.  The aforementioned Hilario did that for a while as well before officially retiring to stay on as part of the coaching staff.