Is Chelsea's goalkeeping solution just down the road?

Mark Schwarzer

Should Chelsea bring in former Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer this summer after his release from Craven Cottage?

On Saturday it was confirmed by Belgian number one stopper Thibaut Courtois that he intended to remain at Atletico Madrid next season; after being ensured by Chelsea’s hierarchy that they were happy for him to continue his development in Spain.

So with Courtois set to spend a third season out on loan with the Spanish capital outfit Petr Cech can breathe a sigh of relief at the thought of losing his place in the first team. Courtois is certainly a future Chelsea number one stopper but right now Cech’s gain is that of Los Colchoneros; who inherit possibly the best young keeper in world football right now for another season.

But not only does this decision give Cech clear sailing for the number one spot; it quite literally makes him the only goalkeeper with first-team experience left standing.

On Friday The Blues announced that both Henrique Hilario and Ross Turnbull, last season’s number two and three goalkeeping options, were leaving the club on Bosman free transfers.

Leaving Cech currently battling it out with the work permit-less Marej Delac and youngster Jamal Blackman for a place in between the sticks.

So what should Chelsea do to plug the gap?

For me personally there is actually quite a simple and obvious answer to that question; sign the goalkeeper recently released by your neighbours down the road.

No I don’t mean Radek Cerny or Csaba Somogyi but of course a certain Australian goalkeeping veteran who has recently become unemployed.

The writing was on the wall for Mark Schwarzer when Martin Jol originally tried to sign Dutch international stopper Maarten Stekelenburg in January; only for him to be diverted back to Rome mid-flight.

Now that deal has been completed Jol has not offered the 40-year-old a new deal.

And he could be perfect for Chelsea’s current situation.

Schwarzer is said to not want to retire just yet meanwhile he also maintains he has no plans to play anywhere else but England; after rumours of a return to Australia reared their inevitable head.

Sure he is getting on a bit now but it is quite clear to see that Schwarzer has looked after himself and is still in great shape. He is also someone you would call reliable; rarely making glaring errors and as a back-up/cup goalkeeper he could easily do the job.

With his level of experience there would never be any worries of the occasion getting to him either.

With no transfer fee necessary the club could even offer him a simple one-year-deal with no assurances over an extension and still get a deal pushed through.

For Schwarzer it may not be his ideal choice in terms of playing time but it may finally give him the chance to get his hands on some illustrious silverware before the clock runs out on his footballing career.

Chelsea fans do you think Mark Schwarzer would be a good signing?

image: © nicksarebi

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