Gabriel Slonina reveals key Chelsea plans which convinced him to make 'dream' transfer
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Gabriel Slonina has admitted the plan Chelsea had in place for his development was a key reason why he decided to sign a six-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
The 18-year-old put pen to paper on a long-term deal in the capital earlier this month before returning to America to see out the remainder of the MLS season with Chicago Fire.
It’s a dream transfer in the early stages of his career which comes with some pressure due to the £12 million transfer fee, which includes add-ons, that Chelsea paid for him.
As the teenager focuses on his final months with Chicago Fire, he explained in more detail about how Chelsea convinced him to choose them amid interest from across Europe.
"It's Chelsea. They're one of the best clubs in the world and they have so much history behind them," Slonina told 90min.
Honoured to join such a massive club with so much history. It’s a privilege to wear the badge of the best side in London.— GAGA (@GabrielSlonina) August 2, 2022
Thank you to all the fans for the warm welcome. Can’t wait to get started.💙 @ChelseaFC pic.twitter.com/YmShsm1yYj
“I really liked the plan they also had for me. It seemed like they were super interested and they cared for me a lot and I think that's super important.
"The connections you can establish just by being on the phone, I think is important.
"And I felt like they were really emotionally invested in me and really wanted me to be a part of the club. That stood out to me and that's obviously a place where you want to go, you want to feel welcomed, you want to feel like you're at home.
"Joining Chelsea is obviously a dream come true and also having that feeling of being welcomed from the very start I think is super important as well."
Slonina is very highly-rated and that was evident with the amount of interest being shown in him and the competition to land him this summer. He is relishing the spotlight and believes regardless of which club he chose as his next destination, there would’ve been criticism.
He added: "I think wherever I went, there would've been critics saying that was the wrong move.
"It's one thing to say something. I say that I want to become one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, but it's another thing to do it.
"And I think that when I do it, I'll want to look back and read the messages that the critics are putting out saying that all the moves I made were bad.
It was a pleasure to catch up with @GabrielSlonina yesterday 🙏🇺🇸— Chris Smith (@CJSmith91) August 12, 2022
Among the topics we covered:
- His 'dream' move to #Chelsea
- MLS Cup goals with #CF97
- Inspiration from Edouard Mendy@90min_Football @90min_us https://t.co/sEVF6y6brR
"Critics will always try to critique you. But you are the one that's making those tough decisions and they're not easy, no matter how amazing they may seem.
"Every decision is a tough decision. You're leaving your family, you're leaving the life you lived behind to pursue your dream.
"So I think that, just staying true to myself, confident in my ability, and making sure that I continue to do all the right things that got me to this moment, because that's the most important thing, right?
"Just to keep improving and, prove to yourself because you don't have to prove anything to anyone else. Just prove to yourself that you made the right choice. And you can back that up with your hard work and your performances on the field."