Chelsea set to make move to sign Robert Sanchez
Chelsea are reportedly eyeing a move for Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who is viewed as a competition to first-choice Kepa Arrizabalaga.
According to journalist Nathan Gissing, Brighton’s Robert Sanchez has emerged as Chelsea’s top goalkeeper target this summer to provide competition for first-choice Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea are already locked in intense talks with Brighton for Moises Caicedo, but no deal has yet been reached. It’s fair to say the relationship between the two Premier League clubs has not been the best lately after the Seagulls rejected the Blues’ fourth bid of £80 million for Moises Caicedo, as reported by The Athletic.
The Blues previously turned down £40 million from the Seagulls for Levi Colwill, who spent last season on loan at the Amex Stadium. While the Caicedo deal still remains live, Chelsea are now weighing up a move for one of his wantaway Brighton teammates, Robert Sanchez.
Sanchez joined Brighton Under-18s from Levante’s youth setup in July 2013. After graduating from the Brighton Academy, he had developmental loan spells at Forest Green Rovers and Rochdale to gain senior experience before making his Seagulls debut in November 2020.
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He soon went on to displace Matt Ryan as the club’s number one and remained as Brighton’s first-choice keeper in the first half of last season, starting all of the 22 Premier League games between August and February, before losing his place due to poor form under new boss Roberto De Zerbi.
The Spanish international dropped to the bench for the last three months of the campaign as Jason Steele was preferred between the sticks. Although he is under contract at the Amex until 2025, he is seemingly on his way out this summer, with Brighton willing to let Sanchez leave, especially after they recently secured a replacement in the form of Bart Verbruggen from Anderlecht.
Pochettino has decided that Kepa will remain the team’s No. 1 next season after turning his Stamford Bridge career around. Signed for £71 million in 2018, Kepa’s second season under Frank Lampard tarnished his most expensive goalkeeper of all-time credential after he was statistically named the worst shot-stopper in Europe’s big-five leagues, but he has flipped the tables around, particularly putting up a string of impressive performances in the club’s worst Premier League season last year.
Although Pochettino has continually backed Kepa, the departure of Edouard Mendy to Saudi Arabia leaves no competition for the Spaniard, with Marcus Betinelli and youngster Gabriel Slonina are still very young to be exposed to the rigours and scrutiny of Premier League football and maybe requiring developmental loan stints to further their progress.
That is why Pochettino is looking to strengthen his squad with a new goalkeeper this summer. Sanchez is also comfortable with the ball at his feet and would be a solid option for Pochettino next season. It was reported earlier this month that Brighton would accept a bid of £30 million, so he won’t break the bank either.