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New England's Djordje Petrović to Chelsea: What to Expect

New England Revolution's goalkeeper, no. 99 Djordje Petrović, has been transferred to one of the pumping organs of Premier League, Chelsea FC. Serbian-made, Petrović spent most of his youth playing for Serbian SuperLiga teams, like FK IMT and FK Čukarički, making history in his own backyard.

Petrović made his move to Major League Soccer (MLS) last year, in April, with a 0.99 goals against average and thirty-three clean sheets playing for Čukarički. Matt Turner had left for Arsenal, and big shoes needed to be filled. However, Djordje hasn't let off the gas since his debut.

Petrović, arguably, has been one of the best goalkeepers in the MLS. Not because of experience, but potential.

In 31 games, Djordje was the first to make five career saves from PK. From June of last year to April of this, statistical analysis has shown that Djordje has more than quadrupled his saves versus Expected Goals on Target. No other goalkeeper, in MLS history, can say that at this point (never mind 16 of them). Furthermore, Petrović is communicative, which is what everyone wants from their goalie . . . especially around the box.

So how can he get better?

In West London, Fulham is the home to Chelsea FC -- a world-class club, the first FIFA World Cup Winner, and usually one out of the four (e.g. Chelsea, Man United, et cetera), if you were to ask someone who their favorite soccer team is in the U.S. Chelsea is also one of the most successful English teams in history, and with that comes a larger price point. Although Petrović is only worth an estimated $6 million, Chelsea also signed Chicago Fire's goalkeeper, Gabriel Slonina, on a €9 million contract. Petrović's contract is being reported, via MLS, at $17.5 million.

By no means is Petrović as skillful as the Premier Leaguers -- I would be ostracized from soccer society if I spoke that out loud. His footwork needs improvement, passing is a struggle, and England is a completely different beast.


But, solidifying his talent behind Sánchez on Chelsea will provide Petrović with the challenges and growth he needs. If Chelsea is able to offer him the minutes to dig more into that spring of talent he has, no one will be surprised if Petrović walks off his first game with fans buzzing. It's fair to assume, as well, that Petrović will finish the season at start. If anyone is unsure of his abilities by this point, please look below:

Free agent Tomáš Vaclík has been snatched, by New England, from Huddersfield Town. Vaclík can make a definite defensive posture with his 500-game experience. Vaclík also touts four Swiss Super League titles, as well as winning the 2020 UEFA Europa League championship. The Revolution has also held on to Earl Edwards Jr. and Jacob Jackson to fill the slot of Petrović. While New England sits second in the East, hopefully fighting later in the season for a trophy, there will be some pretty big boots to fill.

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