Chelsea signing Gabriel Slonina thought Petr Cech's approach was 'fake'

James Shearman 29 Sep 2022 20:33 BST 5 min read
Gabriel Slonina for Chicago Fire

Gabriel Slonina has revealed that he could not believe Chelsea legend Petr Cech called him to discuss a move to Stamford Bridge.

Touted as one the world's most promising young goalkeepers, Slonina recently signed for Chelsea in a £12 million deal from Chicago Fire.

The 18-year-old returned to the MLS side on loan for the remainder of the season, where he has two games left before moving to London.

He will then join up with his Chelsea teammates, and new manager Graham Potter will decide whether to keep him around the first-team squad.

Slonina arrives with the backing of arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history, Petr Cech, who convinced the American to sign for the Blues.

''I almost thought it was fake [when Cech called],'' Slonina told the Evening Standard. ''I had to listen in to make sure it was him, luckily I didn’t hang up.

''I couldn’t believe that I was talking to Petr Cech so to listen to him and his advice was an honour.

''I was super impressed that he knew my game. It shows how to conduct yourself when you get to a certain place in life. It is a credit to him and what a legend he is that he is trying to inspire younger keepers. He a great guy.''

Slonina was one of seven players to join the west London club in new owner Todd Boehly's debut transfer window.

Chelsea's summer signings ranked

FootballTransfers ranks Chelsea’s summer transfer business that will now be up to new manager Graham Potter to make the most of.

Youngsters Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina have not been included as they are yet to make first-team debuts.

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Barcelona (€12m)

Chelsea brought Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the Premier League after a spell in Barcelona in the hope that he would showcase his best form instead of the problems he caused at Arsenal prior to his departure.

And while the deal was initially reasonable, the sacking of Tuchel - the man who lured Aubameyang to Stamford Bridge - means that Chelsea run a great risk of having another highly-paid flop on their hands.

The 33-year-old has managed two starts in the Champions League for Chelsea, failing to score in either.

4. Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli (€38m)

Chelsea had been long-term admirers of Kalidou Koulibaly but were often quoted extortionate fees for the defender, but they finally secured his signing this summer for £34m.

Koulibaly has made a poor start to his Chelsea career so far but the Senegal international should turn out to be a capable replacement for Antonio Rudiger at left centre-back.

3. Wesley Fofana – Leicester (€80m)

Wesley Fofana established himself as one of the finest young defenders in Europe during his two seasons at Leicester after joining them from Saint-Etienne for £36.5m.

However, the 21-year-old is coming off the back of a broken leg which ruled him out of almost all of last season, having been a player renowned for his physicality.

Chelsea made Fofana one of the most expensive defenders of all-time despite the Frenchman having yet to prove his fitness and long-term value at that price, a risk that has not yet paid off in the 2022-23 season.

2. Marc Cucurella – Brighton (€65m)

Marc Cucurella impressed during his sole season at Brighton and has continued his good form going into his early days at Chelsea, proving why teams like Manchester City and Barcelona were interested.

The £58m fee was steep for a player who may also find himself competing with Ben Chillwell, another £50m signing in 2020, but the Spaniard has been a solid addition to The Blues' squad.

1. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City (€56m)

The signing of Raheem Sterling has already paid dividends for Chelsea, with the England international netting four times in eight games in all competitions to top the scoring charts for the Blues.

Sterling was heading into the final year of his contract at Manchester City, prompting Chelsea to swoop in and beat a host of teams to his signature for £47.5m; a shrewd deal all around.