Gabriel Slonina, also known as Gaga Slonina in the soccer world, is one of the youngest and most promising players in the United States. At only 21 years old, he has already attracted attention from many of the top clubs in the world due to his impressive skill set and undeniable talent.
Slonina joined Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire youth academy in 2016. At just 14 years old, Slonina became the second youngest signing in MLS history and the youngest in Chicago Fire history.
In March 2019, he signed a professional local player contract with the club. On August 4, 2021, he made his professional debut against New York City Football Club, becoming the youngest starting goalkeeper in league history at 17 years and 81 days.
Career with the US national soccer team
Słonina has represented the United States at the under-15, under-16, and under-17 levels. On January 21, 2022, Slonina was called to his first World Cup qualifying camp with the United States national team. However, the player failed to enter the Qatar World Cup squad.
Slonina is of Polish descent, so in May 2022, the national team coach Czeslaw Michniewicz called him up for the Nations League matches against Wales, Belgium, and the Netherlands. However, Slonina rejected the call-up and declared his desire to represent the United States internationally.
Contract with Chelsea FC
If something characterizes European clubs, it is their good eye for choosing young talent worldwide, and English Chelsea has managed to detect many of them. The club’s youth academy has been consistently successful in producing top-tier talent in recent years, with some of these players making up the core of the team.
One example of a player found and formed by Chelsea at a young age is Callum Hudson-Odoi, who already plays at a young age and has extensive experience in the Premier League and the Bundesliga.
Chelsea scouts have seen great potential in Gabriel Slonina and have decided to bet on the player and have signed him for a value of 15 million dollars.
The 18-year-old’s transfer fee is the most expensive in Chicago Fire FC history and one of the highest ever paid for a young MLS player.
Bettors are heading to Caesar Illinois sportsbook to place bets on whether or not Slonina will be able to make Chelsea’s first team in 2023.
The goalkeeper signed a six-year contract with Chelsea until the end of 2028.
“We are very proud and happy to see Gaga reach this moment in her career,” said Chicago Fire sporting director Georg Heitz. “Since joining the club, Gaga has epitomized what it means to be a Chicago Fire player.”
“In addition to his incredible talent and his maturity despite his youth, he is an extremely hard worker and a fantastic teammate. Gaga is a role model for so many aspiring players in Chicago, and this transfer shows that a footballer can progress to the first team from our academy before joining one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Slonina remained on loan at the Chicago Fire until the end of the 2022 MLS season.
In October 2022, he traveled to London to train for the first time with his new club. But currently, the player is not sure what his future will be.
Rumors close to the club state that they will likely give the youngster a loan so that he can continue to gain experience.
The Chicago Fire wants to get the player on loan for one more season since his performance with the club has been extraordinary, reaching 12 clean sheets in the season that just ended. In case of being unable to have Slonina for the MLS 2023 season, the Illinois club has Chris Brady as the ideal replacement.
However, rumors say that Chelsea wants the young man to gain experience in European football. Therefore, they would seek to place him on loan at an English Championship club or at a European club that is playing tournaments such as the Europa League or Conference League.