Robert Sanchez: Chelsea’s new No.1 to keep his faith ahead of move to Stamford Bridge | football news


“Sometimes things don’t work out between the player, the club and the manager, that’s football,” says Robert Sanchez, Chelsea’s new No.1.

The rise, fall and then rise of one of the Premier League’s most sought-after young goalkeepers has been rather remarkable over the past 12 months.

Not long ago, Sanchez was talked about as one of the Premier League’s rising stars, a giant goalkeeper with excellent control of his team’s penalty area, a powerful shot-stopper and comfortable with the ball at his feet. The all-round modern goalkeeper.

But his poor spell at the Amex last season, closely linked to the highly directive style of new manager Roberto De Zerbi, led to everything falling apart. Memories are short in football, and within months, after losing his place to Jason Steele in March, the 25-year-old’s stock collapsed.

The £25m bid Brighton accepted from Chelsea in August could not have been accepted a year ago. Bayern Munich were said to have been surprised by the price and also looked to make a move.

Now, back in the spotlight under Mauricio Pochettino and surrounded by players worth £1bn, Sanchez has been given a chance to rebuild the reputation he has worked so hard to develop.

Between his first and last Premier League appearances for Brighton, only seven goalkeepers have kept more clean sheets. Only Alisson and Ederson completed more passes, and only Nick Pope and Emi Martinez managed to hit more passes.

These are not bad goalkeeper statistics. Others’ confidence in him has waned, but Sanchez has long spoken of the sense of self-belief that initially helped him oust fan favorite Matt Ryan as Brighton’s No.1, and has now seen him through the other side of a difficult few months before taking over. London move.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?” Asked Sky Sports, Half smiling, at Chelsea’s Cobham training base. “I think I did well last season.

“he [De Zerbi] I had my own point of view about the team, for one reason or another he did not depend on me to decide what type of goalkeeper he wanted and decided to go with another goalkeeper. [Jason Steele].

“He suited what he wanted to do best, and I’m happy for him, because he supported me for two and a half years when I was the goalkeeper and now he’s got his chance.”

De Zerbe hinted at something similar when he dropped Sanchez for the first time in March. Although the Italian never expanded on the details, Steele’s success on the ball with his charismatic style made it clear.

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Departure at 2:00 pm


Sanchez’s form also suffered before losing his place. He conceded five goals over his expected tally last season, but he didn’t become a bad goalkeeper overnight.

“I was very comfortable,” he adds. “I know my level as a goalkeeper. I know I will play one way or another somewhere, so I just relaxed and waited for my opportunity.”

Would he have imagined sitting here as Chelsea’s No.1 at the start of the summer? “I probably couldn’t have seen that coming,” he laughs.

“You hear things as the transfer window goes on, and when Chelsea called me, I couldn’t say no. What they gave me, and the plan they had, was unbelievable.”

It helps that Levi Colwell, who was one of Brighton’s stalwarts in defense last season, has already returned to his parent club Chelsea and will be a familiar face waiting for him at Cobham.

And he wasn’t the only one. Ben Roberts, Sanchez’s goalkeeping coach throughout his Brighton career, moved to Stamford Bridge with Graham Potter last year and stayed on after the manager’s short spell. There was the temptation to work under Mauricio Pochettino too.

Sanchez and Levi Colwell have been reunited at Stamford Bridge after playing together at Brighton last season
picture:
Sanchez and Levi Colwell have been reunited at Stamford Bridge after playing together at Brighton last season

“The whole thing feels like a real family environment here,” he says. “There was Ben [Roberts] And the relationship I had with him, Moises Caicedo, [Marc] Cucarella, Levi [Colwill]a couple of Spanish speakers.

“Ben knows my level, he always thinks I’m one of the best and he helped me with this step – he put in a good word and helped get me to Chelsea. I love him, I’ve had an amazing relationship with him.” For seven years, I wanted to come here and work with him.

“I’ve played against a lot of players for a few years, and I’ve also had some chats with the manager, and I know the kind of manager he is.

“He knows when to tell you that you need to do better, and when to hug you and put his arm around you. He is a great coach tactically, but especially in player management, he gets to know every player individually and everyone is different, and he brings out the best in us. “

Rebuilding Sanchez’s reputation as one of the best players in the Premier League will take longer than his return to first-team football. This does not help the levels of expectations on the team that is still putting its feet in front of the world and the lineup that has not yet been settled.

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Sanchez’s new Chelsea side were dealt a shock by Nottham Forest in their final match before the international break

He has witnessed first-hand the virtues of time and patience under Potter at the Amex although he knows, as the head coach discovered first-hand in April, that those qualities are often in short supply at Stamford Bridge.

“We have a great manager, great staff and great individual players, but it’s a young team,” he says. “People have heard this a lot, but the players come from different situations, this is new for them, and we need time.

“We are improving as quickly as we can, we know we want to win but it takes time. Winning is the most important thing, it gives us the best feeling, but we will get there.”

The much-needed shot in the arm will be at Vitality Stadium on Sunday, live Sky Sportsagainst a Bournemouth team that has not achieved any wins this season.

Whatever happens, for Sanchez at least, it certainly won’t be due to a lack of faith.

Watch the Bournemouth and Chelsea match broadcast live Sky Sports Premier League From 1pm on Sunday, the match starts at 2pm



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