Schwarzer’s signature should be perfect for both player and club.
Chelsea completed the free transfer of former Fulham and Middlesborough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on Tuesday and the Australian could be Jose Mourinho’s best signing of the season.
At 40-years-old the arrival of the ‘keeper is hardly likely to make Blues fans take to the street in wild celebration, but in terms of experience there is no one better.
Schwarzer has more Premier League appearances than any foreign player since the competition took its new name in 1992, taking to the field an impressive 502 times since joining Boro in 1998.
Yet with such experience in England the Australia international has never got to taste the highest echelons of European football and play in the Champions League – something the stopper has always regretted.
“There are always regrets you don’t get the chance to play in the Champions League,” Schwarzer the London Evening Standard earlier in the year.
“But you never say never. I’ve always learnt that in football.
“You never say that it’s never going to happen because you just don’t ever know.”
Well the ex-Fulham man couldn’t have been more accurate, as Chelsea of course are a Champions League team and if there is another bumper season like 2012/13, the ‘keeper could well get his chance against Europe’s elite.
Whilst the Blues were looking to relatively unproven options such as John Ruddy at Norwich, Schwarzer can be relied on by Mourinho in a way that couldn’t be said about Hilario or Ross Turnbull last year.
The Aussie had the talent and capability to have been playing for a top four side long ago, but now officially in his 40s, Schwarzer will get his chance on the biggest stage and for such a low risk transfer this could well turn out to be Mourinho’s best call yet.
Australia national coach Holger Osieck describes why at 40 Schwarzer is still the backbone of the side: