Chelsea have completed the signing of highly rated and highly promising goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, who is set to join the club on January 1 after finishing out the 2022 MLS season with the Chicago Fire.
Both teams confirmed the deal today, which sees the 18-year-old sign a 6-year contract to 2028, and return on loan to his native Chicago until the end of the season. Chelsea are reportedly paying a $10m transfer fee, with $5m in potential bonuses and add-ons to follow down the line.
Gabriel Slonina has completed a permanent transfer to Chelsea! ✍️— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 2, 2022
The 18-year-old joins from Chicago Fire where he will return on loan to complete their season before moving to London at the start of 2023.
Slonina, nicknamed “Gaga” (not Lady, but Super), has been turning heads for the past 12-18 months, breaking onto the professional scene with his stellar performances and breaking all sorts of age records including, at 17, becoming the youngest ever goalkeeper to start a match in MLS.
The last time Chelsea made such an investment in a goalkeeper as such a young age was in 2011, when we spent a roughly equivalent amount on a certain Thibaut Courtois. That certainly turned out to be an astute move (despite our eventual acrimonious divorce), so hopefully Slonina turns out to be just as good, if not better.
Welcome, Gaga, let’s win some things!