The position of goalkeeper at Chelsea appears to be in safe hands for now, with Édouard Mendy hardly putting a foot, wrist, or, as is required in modern times, a pass wrong last season. The job as first-choice goalkeeper is surely his to lose for the foreseeable future.
But as far as backup goalkeepers are concerned, the situation is a fair bit more murky. Kepa Arrizabalaga is ostensibly still the primary backup, but surely a change of scenery would remain the best outcome for all involved, even if his performances improved behind Thomas Tuchel’s defensive system. The world’s most expensive goalkeeper won’t be moved easily of course, but a subsidized loan could be a potential solution.
However, with Willy Caballero released (and possibly set to retire), Chelsea could suddenly lack some depth at the position. (Especially as we tend to send our best Academy goalkeepers on loan to gain experience.) And that’s precisely where the rumors of Chelsea taking a look at Werder Bremen goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka enter the picture.
The 29-year-old is tall and lanky in the mold of Čech and Courtois and Mendy — i.e. how goalkeeper coach and advisor Christophe Lollichon likes them — and he has been Werder’s first-choice for the last four seasons. Unfortunately for him, and the team, Werder were relegated last season, ending a four-decade-long stay in the Bundesliga. And while Pavlenka is said to be happy to stay in Bremen, with just a year left on his contract, he’s been apparently made available for transfer.
According to whoever DeichStube may be, Chelsea are one of the teams looking at the Czech Republic international — he was called up to Euro 2020, but had to withdraw last-minute due to injury — with Technical
Director Advisor Petr Čech personally leading the campaign to get him. Pavlenka may not be too keen to settle for a backup role at this point in his career, but perhaps we can convince him otherwise.
As per Bild, Burnley are also in the mix, and are set to bid €3m. Nick Pope is their first-choice at the moment, but he’s always linked with moves elsewhere (such as Tottenham where Hugo Lloris isn’t getting any younger).
In any case, this seems like a fairly random story, but as we saw with Mendy last season and many times before, if Čech and Lollichon see something in a goalkeeper, we’d do well to pay attention. For €3m, we could certainly do a lot worse.