Asmir Begovic becomes Chelsea’s second major signing of the summer. The Stoke ‘keeper has joined the Blues on a four year deal, following in the footsteps of Radamel Falcao who signed a year long loan deal at the start of the month.
Mark Hughes and Stoke City had hoped to keep hold of the Bosnia-Hercegovina international, who had one year left on his contract at The Britannia Stadium. However the lure of the Premier League champion’s was too much for Begovic, who goes to Stamford Bridge in full knowledge of the fact that he will be Chelsea’s second choice stopper.
Begovic said, “I have loved my time at Stoke but feel I had to take this opportunity to continue to develop and challenge myself as a player. I am very happy to be joining Chelsea. After speaking at length to the manager, I feel like I can develop here and be an important part of this team. I am looking forward to meeting up with the team on Wednesday for the pre-season tour”.
Begovic will take the number 1 shirt that was vacated when Petr Cech left the club to join their North London rivals Arsenal. Stoke, meanwhile, have signed Shay Given to replace him as their experienced number 1, with Jack Butland likely to take over between the sticks at the Potteries.
Although it is considered to be a separate deal to the one that took Begovic to Stamford Bridge, Marco van Ginkel has headed to The Britannia on a season long loan and the deal almost certainly helped to smooth the gears for the goalkeeper’s transfer.
The 22 year old Dutchman got a knee injury not long after signing for Chelsea from Vitesse Arnhem that severely limited his chances at Stamford Bridge. He spent last season on loan at Milan in order to improve his fitness, making 18 appearances for the Rossoneri.
Stoke have paid a £1 million loan fee to sign the midfielder, but the way Chelsea structure their deals means that that amount will lessen with each appearance that the youngster makes for the Potters next season.
The fee for Begovic is rumoured to be around the £8 million mark, and Jose Mourinho will be pleased to bring in such an experienced and talented goalkeeper to act as a back up to his first choice stopper Thibaut Courtois.
Mourinho is known to give his second string a fair crack of the whip during League Cup games and matches that are of less importance to Chelsea’s overall season – such as dead rubber Champion’s League games – so, though he is unlikely to be the Blues’ number 1 ‘keeper unless Courtois gets injured, Begovic can be confident of making a number of appearances for the Stamford Bridge club.