Chelsea star still stunned by ‘dream’ transfer as Mauricio Pochettino makes Todd Boehly demand
Chelsea star Gabriel Slonina has revealed it has been ‘a dream come true’ after completing a £12m transfer to Stamford Bridge last summer. The young goalkeeper joined the club permanently in January this year after spending the remainder of 2022 with Chicago Fire in the MLS.
Todd Boehly has brought a focus to sign young, talented players that can develop into world-class stars and play a key role in Chelsea’s future success. This could play perfectly into the hands of incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino after he agreed a deal to become the Blues’ next head coach and brings a reputation of developing young talents into brilliant players, football.london understands.
Slonina was considered to be one of the most promising talents in the MLS , having kept 13 clean sheets in his debut season. The teenager played every minute of Chicago Fire’s 2022 league campaign, making a total of 34 appearances.
Pochettino has demanded that Boehly backs him in the summer transfer window to sign a new goalkeeper, central midfielder and striker. This could see one of Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga leave the club this summer with a new first-team No.1 expected to be brought into the squad.
Slonina will be hoping he can impress the Argentine in pre- season and stake a claim for a first-team spot after completing his ‘dream’ transfer last summer.
“It’s honestly been a dream come true,” the American told the Chelsea website. “It still doesn’t really feel real when I’m training with some of the best players in the world and learning from them. I think it’s been great for me to come over here and get better as a person and as a player on and off the field.”
Chelsea have a bloated squad full of talent at present with Boehly planning to move on a number of players ahead of next season. Pochettino may look to make Slonina his second-choice goalkeeper if the 19-year-old can impress in pre-season and aim to move on both Kepa and Mendy – who have struggled to prove they deserve a long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
Brentford’s David Raya, Brighton’s Robert Sanchez and Inter Milan star Andre Onana have all been linked with moves to Chelsea this summer. The Blues are set to travel to Slonina’s hometown during their pre-season tour of America for a friendly against Borussia Dortmund.