If and when football returns, one of our bigger priorities will be to settle the goalkeeper situation. Chelsea had looked at a host of names already and such rumors are unlikely to go away just because Kepa returned after a six-match drop to the bench to post back-to-back clean sheets against Liverpool and Everton.
One of the more obvious names to link with Chelsea was always going to be Jan Oblak, one of the very few world class goalkeepers in the world. Sure enough, as Diario AS (via Sport Witness) noted yesterday, Chelsea “still dream of” the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper.
(Ed.note: I feel compelled to point out that AS are literally recycling their own story from a couple weeks ago as far as the Chelsea dream angle is concerned, but Rohaan went to all this effort to write it up and the season’s suspended and times are tough so whatever. Here it is anyway.)
Oblak protagonizó anoche una de los recitales más memorables de la historia del Atlético— Diario AS (@diarioas) March 12, 2020
En diciembre le negaron el Balón de Oro en favor de Alissonhttps://t.co/qa9nkk2WBm
Back in the summer of 2018, when Kepa Arrizabalaga was not yet a Chelsea player but Thibaut
Snek Courtois was already on his merry way to sunny Madrid, there were rumors about a bid from Chelsea for a certain Jan Oblak. The move didn’t pan out as Oblak preferred continuing his career with Atlético and keep playign Champions League football. In the two years since, the Slovenia international has done little else than be one of the best in the world, if not the very best.
Despite Atlético Madrid’s poor 2019-20 La Liga season, their defense has been rock-solid as always. Their 21 goals conceded is the second-best in the league, only trailing Real Madrid’s 19. Oblak has been a massive reason why, with a save percentage of 73.3% and a PSxG/SoT of 0.24 (best in La Liga) highlighting his shot-stopping abilities. His match-winning performance against Liverpool in the Champions League earlier this week, when he made 9 saves, proved it in spectacular terms yet again.
His current release clause is reported to be €120m, and runs all the way till 2023. Whether we are willing to break the bank for him and set the world transfer record for a goalkeeper anew (Kepa part-exchange rumored recently, too), or whether the 27-year-old would even consider moving to London after rejecting us once are pertinent questions, but in an ideal world, he would be a ‘galactico’ signing in Chelsea’s bid to regain their top-dog status.