It seems almost incredulous when you consider the money spent and how he’s played since arriving in England, that we’re about to embark upon the 2023/24 season and Kepa Arrizabalaga could potentially be starting for Chelsea on the opening day.

footballfancast video of the day

How did we get here? When the Blues signed the Spaniard for a record fee for a goalkeeper in 2018, some may have viewed it as a statement of intent to bring in a youngster brimming with potential, others perhaps saw it as what it has evolved as - a panic buy and a quick solution to combat Thibaut Courtois’ sudden and unceremonious departure to Real Madrid.

The former Athletic Bilbao man has always struggled for consistency and when he was finally displaced by Edouard Mendy in 2020, it seemed the Blues had finally sourced the Courtois’ long-term successor. The Senegalese stopper originally started in emphatic fashion, conceding just a staggering 29 goals in his first 44 games, helping the club win its second-ever Champions League.

However, his form suffered a steep decline, which has allowed Arrizabalaga back into the starting lineup.

Chelsea must follow in Manchester United’s footsteps and take control of their goalkeeping woes. The Red Devils have parted ways with long-serving number one David De Gea - who made two errors leading to goals in the Premier League last term - and Andre Onana is on the verge of a move to Old Trafford.

Similarly, the west Londoners may also look to raid a Milanese Giant as rumours continue to circulate around Mike Maignan.

What’s the latest on Mike Maignan to Chelsea?

It was reported by the Evening Standard that Mauricio Pochettino feels he can improve Arrizabalaga and there is still a chance for him to be the first-choice keeper.

However, Matt Law (via the Chelsea Chronicle) has said that Chelsea haven’t ruled out the chance of upgrading the position, and he named the AC Milan star - who has been valued at £73m - as a possible target, saying: “I know in the last 2 weeks there has still been conversation about Mike Maignan which leaves me to believe that the whole goalkeeping thing hasn’t been completely left alone.”

It would be a wise decision for Pochettino to pursue Maignan, who has been a revelation in Italy.

Why would Mike Maignan be a good signing for Chelsea?

During the 2021/22 campaign, the Frenchman conceded just 21 goals in 32 Serie A games, keeping 17 clean sheets as the Rossoneri clinched the Scudetto.

As for the most recent season, although the form of his teammates dropped off, with the club scraping top four, Maignan remained imperious, conceding just 27 goals in 29 outings in all competitions.

His international Raphael Varane has applauded his compatriot’s quality, saying: “Maignan is a goalkeeper who brings serenity, as well as having those skills in goal.

“He is a calm person, sure of his strengths, and it is true that as a defender, feeling this presence behind is important. It’s not just the potential he has but also the presence he has on goal.”

Signing a player of this calibre would be a huge statement of intent from Chelsea and would hugely improve their trajectory for improvement. It would rank alongside the signing of Christopher Nkunku as the club’s most important and influential addition, proving yet another transfer masterclass.


In 25 Bundesliga appearances in 2022/23, the former RB Leipzig attacker bagged 16 goals and was the division’s top-scorer, despite missing nine games through injury.

As well as this prolific record, the playmaker’s dazzling creativity is also hugely attractive - he ranks within the best 8% in Europe’s top five leagues among his positional peers for shot-creating actions, progressive passes, and successful take-ons per 90.

Maignan, described as a “monster” by Goal’s Robin Brainer, coupled with Nkunku’s impeccable pedigree mean that Chelsea could be a far more formidable outfit come August.