Chelsea Favourites To Seal £20M Transfer For Player Who Has Been Described As “Brilliant” By Ian Wright

Chelsea are leading the race to sign Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford, according to The Sun.

The English tabloid claims that the Blues are lining up a £20m bid for the 21-year-old, who they see as a future no.1.

Trafford only moved to Turf Moor from Manchester City for £15m last summer but, following the Clarets’ relegation to the Championship, it is believed they are happy to sanction his sale.

The Sun report that Newcastle are also interested in the shot-stopper, although it is believed that Chelsea are favourites for his signature.

Trafford has been included in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2024, along with Jordan Pickford, Dean Henderson and Aaron Ramsdale. It’s unlikely that he will make the cut for the tournament itself but it does demonstrate how highly rated he is as a keeper.

Trafford has received praise for his performances this season

BBC pundit Ian Wright was keen to single out Trafford’s display against Brighton when he helped secure a 1-1 draw at the Amex back in early December:

“He was brilliant, I was delighted for him. Coming into the Burnley side after a £19m move, Vincent Kompany has shown a lot of faith in him and he made some very, very good saves.”

“A lot of the Burnley fans weren’t quite sure simply because of [Arijanet] Muric and how well he had done to come up, but he made some fantastic saves.”

Would Chelsea be signing an upgrade?

There are lingering questions about Trafford’s ability. He was dropped in favour of Muric by Kompany in mid-March and he spent the rest of the campaign on the bench.

The England Under 21 international’s record isn’t much better than Djordje Petrovic’s either. The Serbian’s save ratio in the Premier League last season is identical to Trafford’s (65.7%), and they’re both poor when it comes to conceding more goals than the xG they faced.

Trafford let in 5.9 more than expected, while Petrovic’s number was 6.7. Both were inferior to Robert Sanchez in the two metrics (70.5% save ratio and 0.8 more goals than xG faced).

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David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.