UPDATE: It’s officially official! Loanee number 10, the oldest ever.
The man you see pictured at the top is Eduardo dos Reis Carvalho, Euro 2016 winner with Portugal as their third goalkeeper, soon after which he signed for Chelsea to fulfill the same role.
And to be fair, he’s done that to just about absolute perfection, providing a challenge in training to Courtois and Caballero (or Begović) and Bułka (or some other youngster). It’s a thankless job that’s almost akin to coaching more than anything, with prospects of actual playing time slim to none. To wit, Eduardo played 0 minutes in his two seasons at the Bridge, but did sit through 21 matches on the bench as the backup (5 in the Premier League, the rest in the two Cups).
After such stellar service as the third goalkeeper, Chelsea appeared to cut loose Eduardo this summer, including him on the official “released list” submitted to the Premier League. But just a few days into July and the new season, Eduardo has been resurrected. According to reports in Portugal, he’s been re-signed to a one-year deal.
Eduardo renova com o Chelsea e é emprestado ao Vitesse https://t.co/xqCqLCfXQQ— Diário de Notícias (@dntwit) July 5, 2018
However, instead of serving as the third goalkeeper again, he’s apparently set to head out on loan to Vitesse.
On the surface of it, assuming it’s true, this is a fairly hilarious and in a way a bit embarrassing move from Chelsea — so a perfect fit for the the summer so far — but it probably makes some sense. Eduardo was essentially a coach already; spending a year at Vitesse could help him hone those skills while perhaps giving him one final hurrah in his playing career, too. Obviously I’m only assuming that Eduardo would be interesting in coaching, but I can see him very easily follow in the path of Hilario or Carlo Cudicini, both of whom are involved in such roles with the Blues.
The current head goalkeeping coach at Vitesse is former Manchester United backup goalkeeper, Raimond van der Gouw.
Eduardo will turn 36 in September; his days as a player have long been numbered. A move that probably costs Chelsea very little in terms of actual finances could pay dividends down the line, while helping out a solid member of the team from the past couple seasons.