Asmir Begovic’s reported £10m move from Chelsea to Bournemouth is officially in the books, and Bosnian fans should breathe a sigh of relief, because it means a return of the top form keeper that we were used to seeing during his time at Stoke City.
According to WhoScored, “Of goalkeepers to make more than 75 PL apps since August 2010, only 3 have a better save success rate than Begovic (71.4%).” This statistic is quite telling, and those that follow Begovic’s international matches, know exactly what it means.
Since his move to Chelsea, it has not been the same player between the sticks. On July 13, 2015, Begovic moved to the London club for a a fee of £8 million. Before his move to Chelsea, Begovic’s national team record for Bosnia was 41 matches (30 conceded). Since the move, he has played 15 matches, conceding 17. The ratio is quite glaring, and the reason is simple, lack of playing time at the club level, equals a drop in form (significantly so), and therefore, a drop in form at the national level as well.
It remains to be seen whether Begovic will return to his Stoke City level of performance next season, but consistent minutes for the big man might just be what the doctor ordered on the national team level as well. At 29 years old – Begovic is at the prime of his career and the national team could use him at his peak for the next couple of years, or even longer if his career is injury free.