With the Atleti loan star making noises about a move, we profile three young, hungry stoppers the Blues should consider.
Jose Mourinho is facing something of a dilemma with on-loan goalkeeper Thibalt Courtois agitating for a move away from Stamford Bridge, but there are plenty of ready-made replacements available from across the continent.
A quick look across the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Eredivisie offers a fine selection of young goalkeepers with the potential to one day fill the substantial boots of current number one incumbent Petr Cech, or at the very least provide quality back-up for the Czech stopper.
Leonard Nienhuis – SC Cambuur
Something of a left-field choice given his current status as first choice for unfashionable Dutch outfit SC Cambuur… so whisper it quietly, but Leonard Nienhuis is quickly emerging as one of the most exciting young keepers on the continent, helped by an impressive start to the current Eredivisie campaign.
His club side may sit way down in 14th, but with Nienhuis between the sticks, they’ve only shipped a paltry eight goals in nine Eredivisie games, including a 0-0 shut out against PSV Eindhoven.
A product of the Groningen youth academy, Nienhuis departed the club following a successful loan stint with Cambuur and at just 23, he looks set to have a bright future in the game.
Kevin Trapp – Eintracht Frankfurt
Last season’s surprise package, Eintracht Frankfurt, may have made a relatively slow start to the current campaign but in Kevin Trapp they have arguably the most underrated goalkeeper in all of the Bundesliga.
A cornerstone of the success that saw the club achieve Europa League qualification last term, the 23-year-old only arrived at the club a year ago, after moving from relegated side Kaiserslautern.
With 11 caps for Germany at Under-21 level, he’s definitely one goalkeeper with the potential to reach the top of the game and has so far excelled for Frankfurt this term, shipping just eight goals in eight Bundesliga games – the lowest of any keeper in the division.
After getting a taste of European football this season, he could also be tempted by the allure of Champions League football with Chelsea.
Ali Ahamada – Toulouse
Arguably the most experienced of the goalkeeping trio, Ahamada has made over 80 appearances for Toulouse, despite being just 22-years-old.
Discovered playing as a youngster with French third division side FC Martigues, where he also hails from, Ahamada was brought to the club initially as cover the then number 1 Marc Vidal.
However everything changed for the France under-21 international when Vidal suffered an injury during a league match in February 2011 and Ahamada was forced into action.
What followed were a series of imperious displays from the French stopper, who kept an impressive six clean sheets in his eight starts that campaign, with notable scalps including Lyon and Bordeaux.
The manager had seen enough and next term, Ahamada began the season as the undisputed first-choice, where he has remained ever since. Could a similar story eventually play out at Stamford Bridge?
image: © Ben Sutherland