After 14 years in English football, goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, has finally moved on to pastures new, after he signed a deal to join MLS side, LA Galaxy, on New Year ’s Day.
Cudicini will be remembered not as a credible goalkeeper that won Chelsea the title or as an inspired stopper during Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League run of 2010/11; no, despite over a decade in English football Cudicini will always be known as the ultimate reserve keeper, an accolade he clearly has come to accept.
Cudicini, despite those years in the Premier League, made just club 234 appearances since joining Chelsea initially on loan in 1999. Of those 234 games, only 156 came in the league, meaning Cudicini played on average 11 games a season. He was not even accepted as a first-choice goalkeeper at his early clubs in Italy, with Milan and Lazio handing him one appearance combined.
What all this means is that the Galaxy have signed a goalkeeper with quite possibly the worst season-to-appearance ratio ever in the Premier League. Cudicini is, and always will be, a back-up keeper happy to sit on the bench and collect his paycheque.
What makes his situation worse is that the Italian has had plenty of chances to move to a club offering first-team football but his decision to sit on a Chelsea contract behind Petr Cech for a decade proved he does not have the hunger for the game.
Indeed, Los Angeles have signed someone who couldn’t even shift the Premier League’s most unreliable goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes, from his perch at Spurs when the Italian moved to White Hart Lane in 2009.
Although it is clear Cudicini has been signed to replace the departing Josh Saunders, Galaxy fans still may not see much of the Italian, who will have to win the fight for a first-team shirt with rising youngster, Brian Perk.