Backup goalkeeper Asmir Begović made his fifth start of the season on Saturday, continuing his clear split in workload with Thibaut Courtois. The first-choice youngster has started every single Premier League match so far; Begović has started every single EFL and FA Cup match. But that’s apparently not enough for Asmir — not a surprise, given his calibre.
Over the past week, we’ve heard multiple stories of Chelsea looking for a potential replacement for Bego, but so far not having much luck. Rumors about Celtic’s Craig Gordon, AC Milan’s (by way of Espanyol) Diego Lopez have been rubbished, though Newcastle’s (by way of Ajax) Tim Krul and Sevilla’s Salvatore Sirigu could represent possible solutions.
Either way, Begović isn’t going anyway until a proper replacement can be found (sorry, Eduardo!). Conte confirmed all this in his post-match comments.
"The situation is very clear with Asmir."
"Asmir is a really important player for me, a really good goalkeeper, important in the changing room. We are open to offer him the possibility to go in another team, but it’s important we have a substitution. We have some situations we are seeing, but we are not closer."
"He loves Chelsea, his teammates, the club. We have a really good relationship and for sure it won’t be a problem."
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Given Chelsea’s difficulties in making headway in the search for a replacement in January, this one’s looking more and more like a summer transfer. But there are a few days yet to go in the winter transfer window...