Chelsea suffered their sixth Premier League defeat of the season on Wednesday night by losing 2-1 away at Old Trafford. Mauricio Pochettino has now guided his struggling side to more losses than wins in England’s top-flight.
However, the scoreline arguably flattered to deceive the London outfit as the Red Devils ran rampant in the final third and recorded an xG of 4.07 from 28 attempts on goal to Chelsea’s 1.4 xG.
There were several players who struggled to get going for the five-time Premier League champions, but one player in particular had a night to forget, with Pochettino already looking towards the January transfer window to bring reinforcements into the team.
Mike Maignan to Chelsea transfer rumours
According to a report from Foot Mercato, Chelsea are being linked with a £60m move for AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan ahead of the winter window.
The outlet are also reporting that Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are in the running, although the Rossoneri are currently hesitant to allow the France international to leave over the coming weeks.
Maignan could be seen as Robert Sanchez’s replacement at Stamford Bridge despite only joining the club for £25m from Brighton and Hove Albion during the summer. Nevertheless, the Spain international has had a tricky start to life with Chelsea.
At the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday, one could easily argue that Sanchez was Chelsea’s best and worst player on the pitch, having prevented 1.3 goals during the game, including a penalty save from Bruno Fernandes in the first half, while also committing two errors which led to chances for the hosts.
Additionally, Sanchez is conceding more goals than he has been expected to concede this term and only five goalkeepers have seen the ball fly into their net more times than the former Brighton number one. Having let Kepa Arrizabalga leave on loan to Real Madrid during the summer, Pochettino may be ruing his decision to sign Sanchez, hence why Maignan is being linked with a move to the Bridge.
Mike Maignan’s stats this season
After AC Milan sold Gianluigi Donnarumma to PSG back in 2021, the club went out and spent a lowly £13m on then-Lille goalkeeper Maignan. By the end of the Frenchman’s debut campaign in Italy, he was a Serie A winner, while also playing a massive part in the side’s run to the Champions League semi-final last season, despite spending four months absent with a recurring calf injury.
Nevertheless, Maignan has gone on to become one of the best shot-stoppers in the world, earning huge praise from France national team manager Didier Deschamps, who called his first-choice keeper a “leader” that “oozes confidence and calmness”. The Milan star is now said to be worth £26m, according to the CIES Football Observatory.
This season, the 28-year-old has shown his class once more. Compared to all other goalkeepers in Europe’s top-five leagues, Maignan is sitting in the top 27% for clean sheets per 90, the top 9% for post-shot expected goals per 90 and the top 12% for defensive actions outside the penalty area per 90, while also averaging an 82.2% passing accuracy per 90 this term. This shows that Maignan is an excellent sweeper-keeper but also a reliable shot-stopper and is comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Furthermore, Maignan is even holding his own against former Chelsea number one Thibaut Courtois’ stats from last season, proving how good the PSG academy product truly is and why this would be such a first-rate acquisition.
|Mike Maignan vs Thibaut Courtois
|Per 90 Metrics
|Maignan – 2023/24
|Courtois – 2022/23
|Shots On Target Against
|Post-Shot Expected Goals
|Defensive Actions Outside Penalty Area
|Balls To Final Third
|Stats via FBref
It’s worth bearing in mind that Courtois was the Yashin Trophy holder and a European champion last season, yet Maignan is statistically matching the Belgian in a whole host of different areas. Maignan could be an excellent acquisition for Chelsea should Milan let him leave in January to rectify the error of signing Sanchez.