Chelsea must target goalkeeper who is becoming one of the best in the world

The Frank Leboeuf column was exclusively published at Si & Dan Talk Chelsea!

Chelsea have been super busy with sales these last couple of weeks and we are starting to see many good deals get confirmed now.

I would have never thought that Chelsea would have found a solution and a way to sell so many players. Saudi Arabia has become the lucky penny for Chelsea! I’m pleased for the players who really wanted to go there, players over 30 and nearing the end of their careers, and also making some room in the Chelsea squad, which was badly needed.

Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, N’Golo Kante (as free agent), Hakim Ziyech all going there, it’s fantastic for the club to get some money out of it even if it’s not the money that they have invested in the players. They can at least get some money out of transfers where we might have thought that either the player would have been stuck at Chelsea, or they would have just been loaned, or sold for almost nothing. We are also getting their wages off the books, it’s great.

Some of them had some bad performances last season so it’s a good thing to be able to sell them, and it’s a good thing for Chelsea. The players who have gone are so far the players we wanted to see gone. They were struggling, so it’s good for the club to get these sales done.

In all the rumoured sales, I think maybe Mateo Kovacic is the only one who could have stayed, it would have been nice to keep him. But for him, I understand that he wants to go to Manchester City. If he has a chance to play, that’s the other thing. They’re also talking about Declan Rice there, where you already have John Stones, Rodri, it might be complicated for him to play much more than 30 games a season, but that’s his own business. For Chelsea, I would have liked him to stay because we might only have Enzo Fernandez staying there at this rate with all the sales! It was already an issue last season with injuries and being short in there. But we also know that Chelsea will be buying new players there in the coming weeks, so it’s something they will resolve.

On transfers this summer, we need to prioritise a goalkeeper, a midfielder, and a striker. We have to resolve the problem of the spine of the team. We need to secure the middle of the park, the back, and the striker. That’s the biggest work we have to achieve very quickly because it’s not possible to start the season wondering who is going to score goals, and who is going to stop the goals.

Mike Maignan from AC Milan has been linked to Chelsea this week, and he is certainly one player who can stop the goals. Maignan is a crazy good goalkeeper. Him and Andre Onana are the future of goalkeepers, they are the top of the top. They’re both very calm, very secure, knowing what they have to do, knowing how to play with their feet. Centre backs feel so safe with goalkeepers like that behind you. Chelsea should definitely get Maignan if we can’t get Onana. If you can’t get Maignan, you have to get Onana. For me they are the two targets you have to go for.

Man Utd angry at Chelsea over 'leaked information of failed Mason Mount  bids' but have four alternative transfer options | UK

The Mason Mount situation seems very up and down, we are seeing lots of different reports one day or the next and nobody knows what to believe on what is actually happening there.

You have three elements to his future. The first is Mason Mount, what exactly he wants to do. Does he want to leave or does he want to stay? Is it about money? Or could it also be about football? You cannot tell me that Manchester United right now is better than Chelsea and it’s a promotion to go there. In terms of history yes, United might be above Chelsea. But Chelsea have won many trophies for the past 20 years and have been the most successful English team. If you go to Manchester City like Kovacic, you can say that it’s the best club in the world right now, no doubt about that. I don’t see why a Chelsea player would want to go to United, Liverpool, or Arsenal – it’s not a promotion.

The next point is Manchester United, I understand Erik Ten Hag really likes Mount and thinks he is a great player. Mount didn’t have a great season but he’s shown previously that he is a top world class player, and you don’t lose your ability. Hopefully he can come back and be at his best.

Then finally, you have Chelsea. I always thought if a player does not want to stay then you should not fight for him to stay, because they will not give you 100%. Therefore they have to ask the question to Mount, ‘are you willing to stay, do you love the club?’ If he really wants to stay then you can work on that. But if he wants to leave, then let him go.

If he wants to stay then you do all you can do keep him. Give him the money he deserves if you really want him, like with Reece James. But the club should make the statement, ‘we want you to stay because we love you and think you’re a good player. we want to give you want you want. If you don’t want to play for us anymore, then we will sell you.’ The club should be clear, Mauricio Pochettino should be clear as well and put his foot down and say ‘no, I don’t want Mount to leave.’

If the player doesn’t want to stay, it doesn’t mean we have to give in and sell him to an opponent if it’s not the fee we want.

I’ve had situations that have been a little similar but also very different to the Mount one. When I was at Chelsea with Gianluca Vialli, I felt that he wanted to put John Terry in for me and I felt my time was gone and past at Chelsea and I wanted to go to Monaco. I almost signed there, but it didn’t happen and I had to stay. Claudio Ranieri came in and really wanted to sign the players that he wanted and wanted Terry in instead of me. I said that I wanted to play because the World Cup was next year. I came back to train with Chelsea, but I really felt that Ranieri didn’t count on me and I soon found Marseille coming for me and I went there. I didn’t want to sign for another English club, so that problem was resolved by myself.

I remember being at Strasbourg and they denied me a move to Marseille; they put the price up. I didn’t want to stay at Strasbourg and when Chelsea came over, I went to see the chairman and said ‘I’m going to go to Chelsea and you’re going to make sure I am going to go to Chelsea’. And then I lied, I said ‘my Father is really rich, I’m going to give up football. I’m not going to play for Strasbourg anymore, if you go against the move. So either I go to Chelsea or I give up football, because I don’t need money!’

It’s why I say you cannot keep a player if the player does not want to stay. It’s not only contracts, it’s human beings.

Boehly not welcome': Strasbourg fans stage protest against club's new  Chelsea owners

Staying on the subject of Strasbourg, with Chelsea buying the club. I am the bridge between the two clubs!! In France they say ‘the first game in Strasbourg under Chelsea ownership, Frank should come out in the stadium to kick the ball!!

I love the two clubs, they both play in white and blue, and being an ambassador let’s say of both clubs, which represents the future of Chelsea with Strasbourg alongside, but also the stabilising of Strasbourg, it’s very good I have to say.

For Chelsea fans, they should go to Strasbourg, it’s a beautiful City, the food is very good, they have nice Beers, and the stadium is always packed with a very good atmosphere. When the speakers announce the substitutions, the fans cheer when the guy comes on, and the speaker says ‘thank you’, and the fans say ‘you’re welcome’.

It’s very nice, the ambience is nice and it’s a great atmosphere. I love that club like I love Chelsea. So I am so pleased with this news, it’s great for me. They are the two clubs that I cheer the most, I spent more than ten years together at these clubs playing football.

Frank Leboeuf

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