Strengths: Schwarzer is the complete package. He’s experienced, talented, smart and a great leader. He has played 679 games for English teams over the course of his career, most of them with Middlesbrough. He’s big (6’5″) and has terrific hands. His positioning is top notch and he still has amazing reflexes.
Weaknesses: It’s hard to pick out any weaknesses but he is older and has slowed down a tiny bit. His diving ability is about average and he doesn’t have the same power in his goal kicks as Cech. He did concede 57 League goals last season but the Fulham defense is nowhere near as good as Chelsea’s. He did struggle with a minor neck injury that kept him out for a few games last season but injuries shouldn’t be a concern.
Need to Knows
- Schwarzer is Australia’s all-time appearance leader with 108 games in goal. He is the only Australian with more than 100 caps.
- Schwarzer made his first appearance for the national team in 1993.
- He was twice named Australian Footballer of the Year and once named Fulham’s Player of the Year.
- In his career he played against Chelsea 30 times: 4 wins, 8 draws, 18 losses.
- He twice finished runner-up in the Europa League (once when it was the UEFA Cup) and won the League Cup with Middlesbrough.
Overall Grade: B-. Chelsea supporters should be excited to have such a huge upgrade from Turnbull and Hilario. The level of experience and leadership he brings is invaluable. Even if he doesn’t play a single game for Chelsea, he will be able to work with Blackman and hopefully help make him an even better keeper. Given the Ruddy situation, Chelsea proved that they won’t overpay for a player and elected to go with a temporary option in Schwarzer. It’s nice to know that Chelsea will have a very able-bodied backup to Cech should we ever need it. Terrific addition.