In Denmark’s loss to Croatia yesterday, there was one player who emerged as the brilliant (though unfortunate) hero of an entire nation. As it then usually happens with World Cup heroes, he’s now featuring in the rumor mill. According to Sky Sport’s Kaveh Solhekol, both Chelsea and AS Roma are keeping tabs on Kasper Schmeichel, son of the famous Peter, and hero of Denmark.
Chelsea & Roma interested in signing Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Both clubs will buy new keepers if they sell Courtois & Alisson this summer.— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 2, 2018
Schmeichel saved not one, not two, but three penalties during extra time and the shootout combined in yesterday’s game, earning himself the scant consolation of Man of the Match as their World Cup dreams came to an end.
But Schmeichel could yet leverage that performance on the world stage into something big, and could yet factor into the potential goalkeeper merry-go-around happening at some of Europe’s top clubs. Much of that is centered around the uncertainty of Thibaut Courtois’s contract situation at Chelsea, with the Blues exploring potential replacements should he move to Real Madrid. Schmeichel thus joins the likes of Alisson Becker and Gianluigi Donnarumma (recently linked with Liverpool as well, who are also in need of a new netminder) and Jack Butland as possible domino pieces.
Schmeichel has been the undisputed number one at Leciester City for several seasons now, most notably during their run to the Premier League title in 2015-16. Since joining the East Midlands club from Leeds United back in 2011, he has featured in nearly 300 games for the Foxes keeping 96 clean sheets and conceding 354 goals in the process. It should be noted that Leicester weren’t really a good side for a large portion of those seven years, which should put those numbers into even better light.
Schmeichel would be an underwhelming option, especially when compared with the possibility of acquiring Alisson, but probably solid enough should the more exciting options not pan out. Still, this rumor feels more like hype after yesterday than anything else ... even if one can never really know in football.