Premier League club Chelsea FC sign Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina in a deal worth $15million
Signed, sealed, and official, Gabriel Slonina is now a Chelsea player on loan at Chicago Fire until the end of the 2022 season. The transfer is a package deal worth around $15million, a club-record transfer out for Chicago Fire. It’s undisclosed exactly how the deal is broken down, but I think it’s $10million plus add-ons of some sort. There were back and forth negotiations between the two clubs and the player/his agent since early January this year. However, uncertainty around Chelsea’s ownership and then the subsequent transition of ownership put a hold on the deal. Now official, per Chelsea’s press release, his Chelsea contract will run through June of 2028, by which point he could be one of the world’s elite goalkeepers.
Slonina will remain in Chicago on loan until the end of the season, and ideally we see him back on loan for the 2023 season, but it’s unclear at the moment if something like that is in the works, despite rumors of it in the past. I’m curious what eventually convinced Gabriel to join Chelsea. Because the big question is whether or not he will get game time, which is key at this stage of his career. Gabriel had other suitors besides Chelsea, ones that certainly would have offered him a better shot at being a starter. But, I guess Chelsea showed him a route to the first team during their negotiations. I’m just hoping it comes sooner rather than later, and hopefully, he can avoid several years of loan spells that countless young talents have had to endure at Chelsea. These seemingly endless loans have put a wrench in several promising careers, and even at times ruined them. I truly hope Gabe can avoid this because he certainly has the talent to. It would be a shame if we’re sitting here in five years time and Gabriel Slonina has made less than ten appearances for Chelsea. Gabriel has all the tools to be the best goalkeeper in the world one day, and all Chicago Fire fans will be following his career closely, constantly watching on like proud parents.
It’s a proud day to be a Fire fan. It’s hard to not get giddy about one of our hometown guys applying his trade at a top club in one of the world’s best leagues. This sort of feeling is one that has been hard to come by in recent years for Fire fans, and we should all celebrate this moment. Despite having lots of young talented players lined up to do something similar (Jhon Duran, Brian Gutierrez, Chris Brady being the top prospects), it could be a long time until we see a soccer player like Gabe come out of Chicago. As a fan, and as a young Polish-American as well, I could not be more proud and more excited about what’s to come with Gabe’s adventure abroad. He’s got the world at his feet, and I have no doubt one day all of us Fire fans will be beaming with honor when we tell people that he came from our club.