Djordje Petrovic: Why Chelsea have paid £14m to sign New England Revolution's star goalkeeper

Djordje Petrovic Chelsea 2023-24Getty Images

In February 2022, the New England Revolution lost their star goalkeeper to a European giant, with Matt Turner joining Arsenal. Just over a year-and-a-half on, the Revs will seemingly soon find themselves in a similar position. That's because Turner's replacement, Djordje Petrovic, has rapidly caught the eye of Europe's biggest clubs, and has now become the latest big-money signing at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea continue to add stars for the present and future.

As with most of their signings nowadays, it appears Chelsea have paid a premium to sign Petrovic, with reports claiming the club has agreed to a £14 million($17.5m) transfer fee that makes him one of the biggest outgoing transfers in MLS history.

The 23-year-old has become a legitimate star in New England, earning a nomination for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2022 despite only taking over as starter after Turner's departure that May. In the 14 months since, he's been linked to Manchester United, Liverpool, Nantes and Nottingham Forest, having rapidly played his way onto the radar of Europe's elite .

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A big move has seemed inevitable for Petrovic for some time. The Revs, meanwhile, have been reluctant to let him go and for good reason: Petrovic's departure will almost certainly doom their season. He's that important to the team, and replacing him will be no easy challenge.

With Petrovic's big move confirmed on Saturday, the expectation is that he won't just head to Europe to make up the numbers, but rather to start for Chelsea at one point or another, even if fellow summer signing Robert Sanchez will begin life ahead of him in the pecking order.

"When great teams like that are interested in you, that's great," Petrovic told GOAL earlier this year, "but I'm not paying too much attention to it because I'm happy here with the New England Revolution and I'm happy with my improvement and the way I work with the team from week to week. When the right time comes [to think about a transfer], then we'll see."

That time has now come, and GOAL can explain precisely why some of the biggest clubs in world football have been following Petrovic's progress...