Chelsea could sign “elite” £26-rated gem as long-awaited Courtois heir

While much of the 2023/24 Premier League season has been a disaster for Chelsea, three wins on the bounce, an FA Cup victory and a semi-final in the League Cup have given Mauricio Pochettino a lot to smile about in the new year.

That said, there are still a lot of problems in his team, from profligate strikers to injury-prone defenders, and then there is the club’s longest-running problem area: goalkeeper.

Following the departure of Thibaut Courtois in 2018, the Blues have brought in several keepers to replace him, but each one has come up seriously short at some point or another. While Đorđe Petrović has impressed so far and Edouard Mendy looked bright for a year – bemused to find himself excluded for a Ballon d’Or nomination during his peak with the Blues – the Senegalese was ultimately unceremoniously shipped off to Saudi Arabia.


However, Todd Boehly and Co look like they might just be about to solve this problem once and for all and finally sign the Blues a proper Courtois heir.

Chelsea look to La Liga for their next great shot-stopper

According to reports from Spain, Chelsea are set to talk with Real Madrid over the future of Kepa Arrizabalaga this year as the Spaniard’s loan deal approaches its conclusion.

Still, the 29-year-old is unlikely to be the only topic of discussion, as the same report has revealed that the Blues are keen on Real’s promising young keeper, Andriy Lunin.

The Ukrainian has started 42% of Los Blancos’ La Liga games this season as he and the on-loan Blues man battle for the number-one position, while former Chelsea star Courtois remains sidelined with an ACL injury.

It looks as if the 24-year-old is currently winning, as despite being a clear backup in the first part of the season, he has now started six of the last seven league games.


While this increased importance in recent weeks isn’t ideal for the Pensioners, the fact that his contract is set to expire in 2025 is, and that impending deadline combined with his place in the team has seen the CIES football observatory value him at around £26m, which for such a talented shot-stopper would be a steal.

How Andriy compares to Chelsea’s current keepers

The closest Chelsea have got to replacing Courtois over the last few years was during Mendy’s first 18 months or so at the club, but as it has already been mentioned, he was sold to the Saudi Pro League last summer after his form collapsed, and he lost his spot in the starting XI.

In his place came Sanchez and Petrović, with the former taking up the number one role and the young Serb plying his trade as his understudy, although since filling in for the injured Spaniard he’s looked much better.

That said, the jump in quality between the Blues’ current shot-stoppers and Lunin is indeed vast, with talent scout Jacek Kulig describing the Real ace as “amazingly talented.”

This praise isn’t hyperbole, though, and when comparing his underlying numbers with the Chelsea pair, it becomes abundantly clear just how much better he is.

For example, he has conceded just 0.50 goals per 90 this season compared to 1.18 for Petrović and 1.57 for Sanchez. What makes that even more impressive is that, according to post-shot expected goals, the “elite” 24-year-old, as described by data analyst Ben Mattinson, should have conceded almost double at 0.89, a far more impressive overperformance than the other two.

Andriy Lunin vs Dorde Petrovic vs Robert Sanchez

Stats per 90




Goals Against




Post-Shot Expected Goals




Save Percentage




Clean Sheet Percentage




Percentage of Crosses Stopped




Passing Accuracy




Errors Leading to Goals




Aerial Duels Won




All Stats via FBref for the 2023/24 Domestic Season

He also has a much better save percentage and comes out to intercept crosses more often, suggesting that he could adapt to a sweeper-keeper role if Pochettino wanted to persist with that.


Chelsea could sign “the best no.9 in the world” over Ivan Toney

The 36-year-old could be a game-changer for the Blues.

Ultimately, Sanchez is not good enough for Chelsea – that much is clear – and while Petrović could well kick on, it makes far more sense to sign Lunin and finally lock down a talent suitable to be Courtois’ heir.

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