Schwarzer signs up for relegation scrap

Former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will join English Premier League strugglers Leicester City in a bid for more playing time Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

Speaking after his side’s 3-0 FA Cup win against Watford, the Blues boss flagged the impending move and heralded the contribution of Schwarzer during his time at the club.

“...(I’d like) to publicly thank Mark Schwarzer, because he is leaving us, and he was a fantastic guy for us – as a goalkeeper when we needed him, he was there for us, and as a person and a professional, he was an amazing guy in our group.

"On behalf of myself, the club and players, we want to say we're going to miss the big guy and we wish him all the best in his new life at Leicester," said Mourinho.

Schwarzer made 12 appearances for Chelsea, including last season’s UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Atletico Madrid, after joining from fellow west-London side Fulham at the end of the 2012-13 campaign. 

Having become the first overseas player to notch 500 EPL appearances, the former Bradford and Middlesbrough shot-stopper signed with Chelsea to compete with Petr Cech for a starting place.

However the emergence of Belgian star Thibaut Courtois had seen Schwarzer slip to third-choice at Stamford Bridge and he has failed to make an appearance so far this season.

This looks set to quickly change in 2015 with Leicster's No.1 Kasper Schmeichel currently sidelined with a foot injury and the inexperienced Ben Hamer failing to convince in his stead.

As such it’s feasible the 42-year-old will go straight into the starting side for Leicester’s next match, at home to Aston Villa on 10 January.

The Foxes currently sit last in the Premier League, four points adrift from safety, but will be buoyed by their recent 1-0 win against Newcastle in the third round of the FA Cup. 

The addition of the experienced Schwarzer, who became the first Socceroo to notch 100 caps, will no doubt be a valuable addition in their bid to remain in England’s top-flight.