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Chelsea could land their own Pickford with swoop for David Raya

Chelsea have been linked to a transfer move for high-flying Brentford’s impressive shot-stopper David Raya, who could be available for an affordable price to bolster hopes of cementing success in the Premier League.

What’s the word?

According to the Evening Standard, the Blues are set to rival Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign the Bees goalkeeper, who is approaching the final year of his contract and has been fantastic for the London outfit in clinching promotion to the English top-flight and paving the way to prominence within the division.

This follows news from journalist Jacob Steinberg, who stated that Chelsea manager Graham Potter indeed holds a vested interest in the Spanish shot-stopper, who’s been distinguished as a prime successor to the role that Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy currently hold at Stamford Bridge.

With Raya reportedly available for as little as £20m, a swoop might just be forthcoming, with sales for either of the aforementioned keepers perhaps even balancing the books.

He’s Pickford 2.0

Chelsea are indeed on the prowl for fresh faces, with owner Todd Boehly seemingly issuing a comprehensive reconstruction for the outfit, who currently languish in tenth place in the Premier League and have tasted defeat across seven of the past 11 matches across all competitions.

This season, with Brentford currently eighth in the league and defying expectations with the arresting philosophy of their play and consistency in clinching victory against even the hottest prospects in the division – with victories over Liverpool, Manchester City and Man United already – Raya has indeed been the unflinching bedrock erected tall in front of the Bees’ goal.

Having played in all 19 league fixtures this term, keeping six clean sheets, the 27-year-old has recorded an average Sofascore rating of 7.13, saving 74% of his shots faced and ever-present in the thick of the action with an average of 48.8 touches per outing.

Should Chelsea sign David Raya?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The Brentford man’s security in the face of the adversity is one of the most striking elements of his game, ranking among the top 12% of goalkeepers for save percentage and the top 6% for touches, as per FBref, indeed illustrating the assurance that he would instil through the ranks at Stamford Bridge.

The site also ranks him as a comparable player to fellow Chelsea transfer interest Jordan Pickford, with the Everton gem recently linked with a move to Potter’s team, with the Daily Mail stating several weeks ago that the England no.1 faces a contract standoff with the Toffees, leaving Chelsea technical director Christopher Vivell on red alert.

Pickford has been a stalwart for the Merseyside outfit, but with FBref ranking the 50-cap ace among only the top 38% of positional peers for save percentage, it appears that Raya might be the more prudent and resilient option, especially given the fact that Everton signed the star from Sunderland for £30m, and might be reluctant to part with one of their most coveted assets for much less.

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Cesc Fabregas in action for Chelsea

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With Potter indeed looking to continue the replenishment at Stamford Bridge, Raya, who’s been described as “one of the best” could prove to be a shrewd and worthwhile investment; Kepa Arrizabalaga has fought his way back into the starting berth at the west London outfit, but he is evidently not viewed as the long-term solution to the role, and Raya must be signed.