Thibaut Courtois is developing into one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Strangely, he is increasingly linked with a move away from Chelsea as he continues to develop. This is largely due to the presence of Petr Cech, who is still one of the best in the world. Barcelona have been constantly mentioned as a destination for Courtois. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has confirmed – for the first time – that he is an admirer of the Belgian. They will be looking for a new goalkeeper after Victor Valdes leaves in the summer.
Speaking to Spanish tabloid Marca, he said,
“He is a great goalkeeper, he is very good and I like him a lot.
“Up until the last moment we will try to keep Valdes at Barca, but it will be difficult.”
Courtois has been a Chelsea player since 2011, but he has not played even a single game for the club. He has spent the last two seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, who are becoming better and better each season under the management of Diego Simeone. Atletico are in sensational form this season after having won eight straight matches to lead the Spanish la Liga along with Barcelona.
Courtois has kept 3 clean sheets in 10 appearances (league and Champions League) with an average of 0.87 goals conceded per game. Cech is marginally better with 4 clean sheets in nine appearances with an average of 0.78 goals conceded per game.
The major difference, though, comes in the percentage of success in catching crosses. Cech has a 100% record compared to the 88% of Courtois. Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea struggled with this aspect in his first season in the Barclays Premier League.
Courtois future at Chelsea depends on a lot of things and not just his performances. Will Chelsea force such a loyal and great goalkeeper like Cech out of the blue? Will the 21-year-old be satisfied with a place on the bench at Chelsea? Will he be ready to go on yet another loan spell despite not having made a first-team appearance for his parent club? Will Barcelona make a sufficient bid to tempt Chelsea into selling one of the most promising young goalkeepers in the world?
That’s a lot of questions. I doubt even if the club has answers to those.