If his name sounds at all familiar, it's probably due to his sterling performances in the 2014 World Cup where he helped Algeria progress past the group stages for the first time in their history. He also single-handedly (mind the pun) kept Germany at bay in the Round of 16 match, making an astonishing 11 saves and taking the game to extra time - where Algeria eventually lost.
However, across the pond, friend of the site Mark Yesilevskiy hinted at his not-so-wonderful reputation:
Jesus no why https://t.co/AMwu9VmChc
— Mark Yesilevskiy (@MarkWhyy) August 19, 2015
Some of the reading (and here) on M'Bolhi is quite grim, it seems like he is a completely different goalkeeper from the one people saw at the World Cup and one that is completely devoid of confidence. What is apparent though is that deep-down he probably is a talented goalkeeper - 41 caps for his country is testament to that.
Now, I'm all for giving people a second chance (It was only yesterday I controversially suggested we have a look at Ricardo Vaz Te). However, I'm not completely convinced that in our current financial situation that a backup Goalkeeper should be at the top of our list of priorities.
Yes, only having one senior goalkeeper in Ben Amos, when at times last season we had three very competent goalkeepers isn't ideal. But I feel like this is where we are right now.
Ross Fitzsimons impressed in his brief first team appearances in pre-season and it's very unlikely that Ben Amos will pick up multiple injuries. (It's worth noting that Adam Bogdan was very injury-prone for a goalkeeper so quality cover was essential when he was our first-choice.)
If reports are to be believed then M'Bolhi is on $500,000 a year at Philadelphia Union, roughly translating to £7,000 a week. Now I don't know the ins and outs of our wage bill at present but I'm under the impression that we have somewhat of a cap in place - hence the 'one in one out' theory at present. If the omniescent Alan Nixon is to believed (big 'if') then after the Ream sale and additions of Wellington Silva, Francesco Pisano and Jose Casado, we have a measly £4,000 a week to play with - give or take.
I think it's much more crucial that we spend these wages on trying to bring a striker in, whether we can bring a goalscorer in on such relative pittance though is to be seen. Either way, a backup goalkeeper, is quite a way down my list of priorities right now.