Chelsea are closing in on the signing of a new goalkeeper. A deal has been agreed for Robert Sanchez and it’s unlikely that there will be any late issues with this transfer with Brighton happy to move the player on with the Spaniard no longer first choice at the Amex Stadium. We shouldn’t have to wait too long to see Robert Sanchez’s Chelsea debut which may come later this month.
The Blues have been on the lookout for a new keeper after selling Edouard Mendy to Saudi Professional League club Al Ahli. Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to be the number one this season for Mauricio Pochettino but Sanchez would act as a strong back-up and could compete for the starting role in the event that Kepa suffered a dip in form.
While he’s still only 25, Sanchez has already clocked up more than 150 league starts during his time in England with most of those coming at Premier League level with Brighton. That means he’s an experienced campaigner who was number one for the Seagulls until the latter part of last season when Roberto De Zerbi promoted Jason Steele to a starting berth, largely due to the Englishman's superior ability with the ball at his feet.
Chelsea have agreed a £25m deal with Brighton to sign goalkeeper Robert Sanchez 🚨 pic.twitter.com/beJqr0h6RZ
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 3, 2023
When will Robert Sanchez’s Chelsea debut be?
Chelsea have now completed their pre-season plans which featured an unbeaten US tour which concluded with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund in Chicago this week. That means Robert Sanchez will play no part in their official pre-season games and his Chelsea debut will come in a competitive match once the new campaign is underway.
Given Kepa is expected to be the Premier League starter, we may have to wait a few weeks to see Robert Sanchez in action. Barring an injury or sending off for Kepa, we are unlikely to see Sanchez feature in Chelsea’s opening three fixtures against Liverpool, West Ham and Luton on the 13th, 20th and 25th of August respectively.
The most likely date for Robert Sanchez’s Chelsea debut is the week of the 28th August when Chelsea will be in EFL Cup 2nd Round action. That should provide Pochettino with the ideal opportunity to hand the goalkeeper his debut with the fixture likely to take place on either Tuesday 29th August or Wednesday 30th August.
Given the West London club are almost always in Europe, they are far from used to entering the competition at such an early stage and it will be an early reminder of just how badly they underachieved last season. However for Sanchez and other squad players, it’ll be a big opportunity to make the right impression in front of the new boss in a competitive setting for the first time.
The fixture should see Chelsea face lower league opposition and assuming Kepa plays well in the Premier League, the domestic cups are likely to be where we see most of Robert Sanchez this season once he completes his move to Stamford Bridge.