The Hard Tackle discusses why Chelsea might be making a huge mistake by pursuing Borussia Dortmund’s Roman Burki ahead of the summer transfer window.
Chelsea are still reeling from their loss over the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga for a reported €80 million in 2018. The Spaniard has been nothing short of a disaster for the Blues, having failed to live up to his massive price-tag and compete with other top goalkeepers in the Premier League in the likes of Alisson, Ederson and David de Gea.
As a result, Chelsea have appeared determined to move on, by offloading Kepa and signing a new goalkeeper. Borussia Dortmund star Roman Burki is among the names linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, however, we will take a closer look into Burki’s season at Borussia Dortmund and discuss whether or not he is the ideal target for the Premier League giants.
Why is Roman Burki such highly rated?
Burki initially rose to prominence thanks to his performances with SC Freiburg that eventually helped him seal a transfer to Dortmund back in 2015. He was always rated as a talented goalkeeper, with lightning-quick reflexes as well as an ability to cover ground quickly.
In fact, during The Hard Tackle’s interview with Roman Weidenfeller earlier this year, the Dortmund legend himself admitted that Burki was more talented than him. And it was clearly evident during the 2014/15 campaign with Freiburg when he averaged a whopping 4.5 saves per game. (via Whoscored)
Chelsea are reportedly lining up a £15m bid for Borussia Dortmund and Switzerland goalkeeper Roman Burki.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 28, 2020
It was one of the highest in Europe at that time and the Black and Yellows made no mistake in using his vulnerable contract at Freiburg to sign him for a fee of just €3.5 million.
Burki has been far from brilliant since, as we will discuss later. But, perhaps the biggest reason why the Swiss is so highly-rated is his amazing charisma and an eccentric attitude. In addition, the 29-year-old has a knack for making crucial saves in crucial moments of the game.
As a result, it wasn’t a difficult task for Burki to replace the ageing Weidenfeller. And it comes as no surprise as to why he has already made over 200 competitive appearances for Borussia Dortmund.
Why Chelsea must avoid signing Burki
While his early success at Dortmund might seem quite compelling, Burki, in fact, is a hugely error-prone goalkeeper.
Throughout his career at Signal Iduna Park, the Swiss has shown a host of weak points that have only enforced doubts about him not only from the fans but also from the club’s hierarchy.
Burki is particularly infamous for his lack of confidence. Especially in high-stake encounters, the 29-year-old tends to lose his composure and make silly errors, something which Weidenfeller alluded to in his interview. It has happened time and time again against teams like Bayern Munich or any other big club in Europe.
Most errors leading to an opposition goal in the last three Bundesliga campaigns:
— PASS Performance Ltd (@Passperformance) June 3, 2020
Moreover, Burki is not the most accomplished goalkeeper when it comes to keeping hold of the ball. He is bound to release the ball especially against a side, which employs a fierce forward press. It could either force him to kick the ball long or make a rash pass.
Another glaring flaw in Burki’s game is his questionable positioning. As someone who isn’t afraid to get out of his lines to make the odd clearance, especially if the backline operates higher up the pitch, the Dortmund star tends to position himself slightly ahead of his traditional zone.
This weakness was brilliantly identified by Bayern Munich in the recent Klassiker as Joshua Kimmich’s chipped goal turned out to be the only difference between the two sides. Even Thomas Muller talked about the goalkeeper’s positioning in a post-match interview.
However, the biggest reason why Burki should not top Chelsea’s priority is because of his miserable campaign at Borussia Dortmund this season. All of his weaknesses have been evident this term, with the goalkeeper amassing a save percentage of only 56%, which is the lowest in the Bundesliga among goalkeepers who have played regularly.
What next for Chelsea?
As a result of Burki’s awful performances, even Borussia Dortmund have been linked with a new goalkeeper, with Ajax’s Andre Onana emerging as a potential target.
For Chelsea, however, they might have to settle for Kepa next season as well, given the financial damage inflicted by the coronavirus. Moreover, they have already signed Hakim Ziyech while Timo Werner, too, is reportedly on his way to Stamford Bridge this summer – a move that could potentially make a huge difference.
Nonetheless, a lot could depend on how Chelsea finish the ongoing campaign. The return of Premier League could also serve as a massive economic boost for the club. However, it is still reasonable to expect Kepa remaining at Stamford Bridge. If the Spaniard does leave, replacing him with Burki would be a move fraught with risk for Chelsea.