The Case For/Against Jamal Blackman

Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.

GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford

Case For Jamal Blackman

It is no secret that Jose Mourinho is a fan of bigger goalkeepers and Jamal Blackman fits the bill at 6’5″. While Blackman has not made a first team appearance for Chelsea, he has made appearances on the bench going as far back as 3 years ago at the age of 18. The coaching staff also has high expectations for Blackman as he traveled with Chelsea during their 2012 Champions League Final. His loan spell to Middlesbrough was not as successful as hoped but he did show some promise in a FA Cup appearance against Liverpool.

Even if Blackman is never able to become a first choice keeper at Chelsea, he could serve as a reliable backup to Thibaut Courtois. He is contracted through the 2018/19 season and is currently the third choice keeper behind Courtois and Petr Cech. His homegrown status helps his situation as well in what could end up being a Ross Turnbull role. Blackman is still just 21 and still has plenty of time to become a very reliable option.

Case Against Jamal Blackman

Blackman is about a year younger than Courtois and is yet to earn a single first team appearance at the top level of any league. He lacks significant experience for players that generally make some sort of breakthrough for his age group. In a few exhibitions, Blackman has been less than impressive and shows that he still needs a bit of work before he is a finished product.

He was unable to displace 36 year old Dimitrios Konstantopoulos as Middlesbrough’s first choice keeper. The only way to really determine whether Blackman is ready is to blood the youngster and put him between the posts, but he does not seem to have the trust of the coaching staff yet. Time is on his side to become a backup, but it is unlikely he will ever compete for first choice keeper.

Outlook

A lot will be determined in the summer when Chelsea deal with Petr Cech’s situation. It seems likely that the Czech keeper will be shipped out and the backup spot will be available for Blackman. It seems almost certain that Chelsea will acquire a backup keeper, but it also gives Blackman the option to lock down the backup spot. Depending on Blackman’s progress, another loan spell could be in his future as well. Given the length of his contract, it would not be too surprising to see Blackman get some game time in smaller cup competitions and meaningless fixtures.

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