Chelsea has been on the hunt for a backup goalkeeper to come in and replace the injured Thibaut Courtois. They have now found their man in Marco Amelia.
The 33-year-old Italian netminder has been without a club after a brief spell with Serie B side Perugia last season. Before that he spent four years as the backup at AC Milan. Amelia has played 236 Serie A games throughout his career for Livorno, Lecce, Parma, Palermo, Genoa and AC Milan.
Chelsea released the following statement on their website on Thursday:
“Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Marco Amelia.
“The goalkeeper arrives on a free transfer to provide highly experienced cover following the injury to Thibaut Courtois last month, and has signed a contract until the end of the season.”
Amelia has been brought in to be the backup to Asmir Begovic who’s been the starter since Courtois suffered a knee injury in September and is expected to be out until at least December. Courtois got injured during a training session on Sept. 11 as he damaged ligaments inside his knee. In his absence, Chelsea has only won one league game and allowed eight goals in four league games.
Amelia brings a lot of experience with him and is used to the role as backup. He’s not the first veteran goalkeeper that Chelsea has brought in when they’ve had troubles with injuries. Back in 2006, they brought in Swedish veteran goalkeeper Magnus Hedman to be the backup after Petr Cech suffered an injury. Hedman had even retired the year prior but came back to be the second choice behind Henrique Hilario. Hedman failed to make a single appearance for Chelsea during his short stint with the club, and it remains to be seen if Amelia will get the chance for Chelsea or if he will just sit on the bench.