Why Gianluigi Donnarumma could be a great signing for Chelsea
According to reports in Italy (h/t The Sun), Chelsea are considering a big-money swoop for AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga after a dreadful season for the Spaniard last time around.
As per the source, the Blues have already made contact with the 21-year-old’s agent over a potential switch to West London this summer. Donnarumma is out of contract at the San Siro in 2021 but the Serie A giants still rate their prized asset at £45million.
Chelsea have been linked with a host of goalkeepers, including Andre Onana, Jan Oblak, Nick Pope, and Dean Henderson among others. But none of those deals have come to fruition so far. (h/t The Sun)
Gianluigi Donnarumma rose through the youth ranks of AC Milan before making his first-team bow for the Rossoneri during the 2015-16 season, thus becoming the second-youngest goalkeeper to debut in the Serie A.
The 21-year-old has long been regarded as one of the best young goalkeepers on the planet and one of Italy’s finest footballing prospects. Donnarumma has gone from strength to strength over the past four seasons, establishing himself as Milan’s undisputed No.1 between the sticks.
The Rossoneri graduate has made a staggering 203 senior appearances for his boyhood club across all competitions, keeping 73 clean sheets in the process. A full international for Italy since 2016, Donnarumma has accumulated 16 senior caps and is currently his nation’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Kepa’s woes at Chelsea
Chelsea have sent out a strong statement of intent to their rivals with deals for Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva, but the Blues still need to sort out their volatile situation between the sticks.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, who averaged just 1.7 saves per game in the PL last season, had the worst save ratio (54 percentage) among all goalkeepers to have played 1000+ minutes of football in the English top-flight.
The Spaniard’s credentials as Chelsea’s No.1 have been called into question numerous times over the past 12 months, and things took a turn for the worse since the restart in June. That’s pretty understandable given his schoolboyish errors against Crystal Palace, West Ham, and Liverpool among others were hard to digest.
The fact that Kepa was dropped to the bench in favour of Willy Caballero for Chelsea’s final league game of the season against Wolves remains a clear indication that the Spaniard has lost Lampard’s confidence.
Why Donnarumma could be the answer
Regardless of whether Chelsea offload or retain Kepa this summer, the Blues should look to bring in a new goalkeeper to increase competition for places between the sticks.
Having played over 200 games for Milan, Gianluigi Donnarumma boasts of an enviable CV for a goalkeeper aged just 21 and his reputation as one of the best in the world should be enough to put Kepa under pressure.
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Gianluigi Donnarumma is not the finished article just yet but he is expected to get better with time as he gains more experience. The Italian international still has his best years ahead of him, so Chelsea shouldn’t sigh away from a significant outlay for his services in the transfer market.