Since the turn of the millennium Chelsea have had somewhat of a penchant for signing experienced back-up goalkeepers on a free transfer.
From Mark Bosnich in 2001, to Marco Ambrosio in 2002, Hilario four years later and Mark Schwarzer in 2013, the west London club have opted for an elder statesman in reserve to don the gloves.
The latest man they look to have snapped up will be hopeful that he participates in more than the five fixtures per season that the aforementioned quartet on average accumulated (62 appearances in 13 years between them).
With Thibaut Courtois out with a serious knee injury, Jose Mourinho has reportedly set his sights on former Italy ‘keeper Marco Amelia as back-up to Asmir Begovic.
The former AC Milan goalie picked up a World Cup winners’ medal with the Azzurri in 2006, and has been playing with amateur side Rocca Priora since being released from Perguia in July.
The Chelsea boss has made no secret of the fact that talks are ongoing with the 33-year-old.
“We have Marco Amelia with us, working for a couple of days,” the ‘Special One’ told the Daily Express.
“He’s an experienced goalkeeper, he knows what a big club is. He knows the responsibility, he’s played in the Champions League and for his national team but hasn’t played so much the past couple of years.
“But what we need is some cover, some stability until Courtois is back. Maybe he is the guy to give us that.”
Amelia’s agent may have jumped the gun slightly, announcing to the world via Instagram that his client had signed for the Blues, despite the fact nothing official has yet come out of Stamford Bridge.
The stopper’s clean sheet record in Serie A when turning out for the Rossoneri was none too shabby, maintaining a shut-out in 11 of his 29 matches in the division for the club, a better percentage (37.9 per cent) than both Asmir Begovic (37.57 per cent) and Thibaut Courtois (37.2 per cent) have in the Premier League for Chelsea.
He’s unlikely to get a huge amount of game-time, especially when the Belgian returns to full fitness, but in the meantime Mourinho may have found a more than adequate go-to guy.
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