Signed from Paris FC’s youth academy back in October 2020, Sami Tlemcani has been with the Chelsea since then.
However, in January, the 17-year-old was sent on loan to Merstham FC until the end of the season, and will then return to Stamford Bridge, where he has a contract until 2023.
That can be extended until 2024 if Chelsea decide they want to do that, but one thing is certain, and that’s the fact they believe in his ability.
The man claiming this is none other than Christophe Lollichon, who has had a long affiliation with the Blues and their goalkeeping department, and has seen Tlemcani first hand.
The youngster, who has chosen to represent Morocco, is seen as one for the future, and while there is a lot for him to work on, everyone at Chelsea appears excited with his potential, especially Lollichon.
Speaking to RMC Sport, he said: “If he’s there, it’s that we think there’s a very, very serious potential, but to tell what will happen in three, four or five years… I can’t do that. I’ve always been honest and I won’t change that today. We’ll do everything we can for him to get to that level, like the other goalkeepers here, but it’s true that Sami has something extra and interesting predispositions.
“Sami has undeniably a morphology that suits his role perfectly. Everyone knows my acquaintance for big players, because contrary to what some people think, big players take up more room, it’s mathematical, but isn’t always enough. If you also see an explosiveness, you’ll make that size count. Plus, you need intelligence and a relationship with the ball, not only in your hands but in your feet, and when you see Sami, you tell yourself there’s clearly something there.
“On top of that on his line, he has qualities of what we call a goal keeper, reflexes and reaction speed. He struggles to read the ball in the air, which is why he’s worked a lot on that with his trainer, not just to get the ball high up, but to also gain information and manage space.”
All this is what makes Tlemcani and interesting prospect for Lollichon and Chelsea, which is why the Stamford Bridge side signed him in the first place.
He added: “When you see all of this in a 15 or 16-year-old, you tell yourself there’s clearly a potential we can work with, but even with all this and his determination, he remains a gamble.”