It was about 90 minutes after Chelsea’s 4-4 draw with Ajax early last November when Andre Onana emerged pitchside to have a brief chat with a gathering of reporters.
Having already discussed a game like no other he had been involved in, the remarkable quality of Hakim Ziyech and the peculiar refereeing of Gianluca Rocchi, the question of his long-term future came up.
The Cameroon international may be under contract at Ajax until the summer of 2022 but he could not help admit that the Premier League was an attractive proposition.
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“It’s always important for me to move on,” he said. “I am not going to stay here forever.”
So it is no surprise to see Onana, who turned 24 at the beginning of this month, once again linked with a move to Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, clubs whose recognised number ones have had their fair share of unconvincing moments this season.
There is no firm suggestion that either side are desperate to sign a new goalkeeper in the next transfer window but the evidence of this season indicates improvement in that area is required if they are to challenge Liverpool or Manchester City domestically.
A very significant factor is the age profile of the current No1s. At 33, Spurs’ Hugo Lloris has already peaked; Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga is 25, still developing and cost a world-record fee.
No one is sure how good Kepa can become and having impressed when called back into the team before the coronavirus forced the game on hiatus. Lloris is not going to get any better, though he is hardly a complete spent force either.
The former is under contract until the summer of 2025 and Chelsea will only spend big on a keeper if he is sold. Onana would likely cost about £35million. Lloris, meanwhile, is under contract until 2022 and would turn 36 in the first year of a new deal.