While Major League Soccer is becoming a real breeding ground for young talent, it’s not just the attacking elements that stand out and Gabriel Słonina will not say the opposite. A real phenomenon in the land of Uncle Sam, the 18-year-old doorman is going through the stages at the speed of light. Appearing for the first time as a professional on August 5, 2021 against New York City with Chicago Fire, the native of Addison in Illinois has gently imposed himself between the woods of the franchise which notably houses Xherdan Shaqiri. This large size of 1m93 is also on a convincing exercise (23 appearances) with the Mens in Red, current 8th in the Eastern Conference.
Noted performances which produced a struggle between the American and Polish selections to make him join one of the contingents. Making his age classes from U15 to U20 Americans, he finally decided for the selection for the star-spangled banner at four years of the World Cup on American soil. A strong choice that he explained in a press release: “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play for Poland. That being said, my heart is American. This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for. America is my home and that’s what I’m going to represent.” Called up in December 2021 against Bosnia without playing, he did not find the group, but remains an element of the future who will have to compete with Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Luton) and Matt Turner (Arsenal).
Chelsea overtook Real Madrid
His precocity and his talent quickly exceeded the oceans and also offered a duel of choice on the transfer window between two European leaders. Real Madrid boldly played their luck and quickly seduced Gabriel Słonina. It should be an honor for Chicago and MLS that Real Madrid are interested in one of their players. We hope that Chicago can find an agreement with Real Madrid so that Gabriel’s dream of playing for this club becomes a reality, his agent Jaime Garcia explained last June. Nevertheless, Los Blancos fell behind and it was Chelsea who took the lead in the matter. And it is imminent…
“There’s no signing yet or anything so I really can’t speak to specifics on that. But I’m happy for the kid and it shows we have some good young talent here in this organization.” explained his coach Ezra Hendrickson to the DailyMail sunday. However, everything accelerated. This Monday, ESPN had reported an agreement between the two clubs for a transfer of €10m + €5m in bonuses which would potentially make him the most expensive U21 goalkeeper in history. Thus, it would potentially exceed the 14 million euros paid in 1998 by Inter Milan to Cannes for Sébastien Frey when he was only 18 years old. Having to sign for six years with the Blues, Gabriel Słonina will not arrive immediately to rub shoulders with Édouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga (who is also heading for the exit).
Indeed, the London club intends to leave him on loan with Chicago Fire until January 2023 so that he can accumulate playing time and not be slowed down in his progress. Often compared to Gianluigi Buffon in the country, the one nicknamed Gaga Słonina does not lack ambition for his career as he had explained to ESPN after debut: “I always believed in myself from the start. It was well timed now and I’m using it to my advantage. I take every opportunity I can and make the most of it. I strive to want to be the greatest goalkeeper in the world. So I think I’m going to continue to do that work, making sure I take the right steps in that direction every day.” After the winning bet Thibaut Courtois in 2011, Chelsea imagine a new big move for the future with Gabriel Słonina.
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) July 30, 2022