After back-to-back 3-2 defeats, including giving up a two-goal lead last weekend, the Chicago Fire’s 2022 season will end without a playoff appearance. They have two more games left in the regular season, and then they’ll get to pack it up until next spring — or in Gabriel Slonina’s case, pack it up to go to London and join his new team.
As things stand, barring any sort of loan arrangement agreed in the meantime, Gaga’s set to join Chelsea in the winter transfer window. And the 18-year-old is very much looking forward to doing that.
“I’m super excited just to be in that environment and see what it’s like in the Premier League [...] Just that level of pressure, I can’t wait to be in there and be in that environment because I think you’re going to learn from every single person there.”
Slonina’s talking as if he has a realistic chance of being a part of the first-team, but that seems unlikely right now, with Édouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Marcus Bettinelli probably all ahead of him at the moment. But perhaps we have a plan, and one that’s mapped things out for the foreseeable future, even.
“The path that they showed me and presented me while I was talking to them was something I really liked. They really focused on a player’s development and making sure they’re seeing the right things, playing games and getting minutes. Because obviously for a young goalkeeper, that’s super important. You can train a lot, but you still have to see those game minutes and everything. I was drawn to the fans, to the location of where it’s at. And it’s Chelsea, so it was a no-brainer.”
-Gabriel Slonina; source: MLS Soccer
Slonina certainly seems to have the right combination of skills and attitude to make it big at Chelsea and in the Premier League.