Along with below average performances this season, it is clear that Chelsea have endured a goalkeeper crisis. The club’s £71.6m purchase of Kepa Arrizabalaga has not reaped the fruits that they have desired and Edouard Mendy has too experienced a slump in form during Graham Potter’s tenure at the club.
While both keepers seem to have years ahead of them, reports suggest that Kepa and Mendy are out of favor at Chelsea. In fact, if either one of them is sold this summer, it would not come as a surprise. After all, the Blues have halted contract negotiations with Mendy.
With it becoming seemingly clear that Chelsea might look to sign a new No. 1 goalkeeper this summer, the question is, who is worthy of standing between the sticks for the club? While many names may come to mind, Brentford goalkeeper David Raya might be the best option for the Blues.
Aged 27, the Spanish player has been an instrumental part of Brentford’s recent rise which looks to challenge for Europe this season. Surrounded by a visionary manager and teammates battling on the pitch, Raya has been a standout performer. His performances this season have attracted interest from various clubs in Europe.
Why David Raya would be a good fit at Chelsea
If a keeper is to succeed in the Premier League, said player needs to emit game-changing confidence along with leadership from the back. No player on the pitch has the same vision as a goalkeeper. When it comes to confidence and leadership, Raya has been one of the best in Europe.
In a Brentford side that is currently in 9th place in the Premier League, Raya has played a crucial role as a leader. The player is key in Brentford’s leadership hierarchy of Ivan Toney, Pontus Jansson, and Christian Nørgaard. Constantly communicating with his defenders and outfield players, the Spanish keeper adds a lot of value to the club.
Even concerning his game on the pitch, Raya possesses phenomenal abilities. One key ability is his ability to distribute the ball. Whenever Raya has the ball at his foot, he ensures to release long balls that perfectly reach midfielders and attackers. This also helps launch a counter attack which could result in Brentford scoring a goal.
Another standout ability Raya has is his ability to win aerial battles. During instances where the ball is launched into the box from corners, crosses, or free-kicks, the 27-year-old displays a lot of composure and good judgment. His physicality is another attribute that helps him win these duels.
As a shot-stopper, Raya has been one of the best in the Premier League this season. With 131 saves, the Spaniard is leading the way for the most saves in the league. Whether it is one-on-one situations or shots taken from a distance, Raya appears to be quite comfortable stopping both. This ability will indeed be crucial for Chelsea.
These abilities of David Raya mixed with other strengths make him an ideal fit at Chelsea. Considering the keeper situation at the London-based club, it would be best if they move quickly and land someone like Raya. At 27, the Spaniard can probably play a solid six to eight seasons for the club and be an integral part of the Blues as they look to build for next season.