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Chelsea are primed to make a move for Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale in the summer transfer window as a replacement for second-choice stopper Asmir Begovic, according to reports from the Daily Star.
Bosnian international Begovic has been itching for a move away from Stamford Bridge for quite some time now, in search of regular football. But manager Antonio Conte did not sanction a move in January as the Blues failed in their attempts to sign Stockdale. But, a swoop at the end of the season could be on the cards for Chelsea.
Stockdale, 31, played a huge role in the Seagulls’ excellent EFL Championship campaign this season that culminated with them getting promoted to the Premier League for next season. But with interests from the heavyweights, the former Fulham man may be tempted to make the jump ahead of next season. And here are three reasons why he could turn out to be a great signing for Chelsea:
Stockdale is a veteran of 364 career appearances in more than 15 years of experience across all steps of English football pyramid. The 31-year old spent 6 years with Chelsea’s London rivals Fulham between 2008 and 2014.
While he spent most of those years out on loan, he managed to make 52 appearances for the Cottagers, 39 of which came in the Premier League. So he will come in with the exposure of English top flight. Someone with that amount of experience and know-how of the English football and with proven abilities will no doubt add great quality to Chelsea.
Stockdale, this season, was one of the best players for Brighton and had a huge hand in Chris Hughton’s men achieving promotion to the top division in England.
The Englishman has made a total of 45 appearances this season and has conceded only 40 goals at an average of 0.89 goals per game. He has kept a total of 20 clean sheets which is the best by any keeper in the Championship. Stockdale was named in the EFL Championship Team of the Year and the PFA Championship Team of the Year as well, which goes on to show the level of performances he has put in this season. No doubts that he will be an excellent option to have in the ranks.
Stockdale is in the final two months of his contract with Brighton. His current deal is set to expire on the 30th of June this year and there have been no negotiations over a new deal till now. This would mean that Chelsea will be able to sign Stockdale on a free transfer. Surely someone of his quality and wealth of experience, coming in for free will be a great piece of business for the Premier League champions-elect.