It’s looking increasingly likely that Chelsea Jose Mourinho will keep Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge next season in a hint that Petr Cech’s time as Chelsea number one could be about to end.
Despite signing for Chelsea from Genk in 2011, Courtois is still to make his debut for the Premier League side, spending the past three years establishing himself as one of La Liga’s best goalkeepers while playing on loan with Atletico Madrid.
Courtois has been a key part of Atletico’s success over the past three years, playing a crucial role in helping the team to the top La Liga and into the Champions League final. The big keeper’s form has seen him linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, but Mourinho is reportedly desperate to have Courtois at his disposal next season. He said:
“On Courtois I’ve made a decision but I’m not the club. I’m the manager. I will inform the club about my opinion, not just with a simple comment made in a corridor…I like to do things in a proper way, to be committed with my opinions, so I will do it in writing. That’s the proper way to do it officially.”
Chelsea could have done with the Belgium international at times this season, with Cech spending a number of weeks sidelined with a shoulder problem that could now keep the Czech keeper out of action for the first few weeks of the new season – which will definitely play a role in Mourinho’s thinking between now and the summer.
At 31, Cech still has plenty of years left in him and hasn’t done anything to warrant being dropped from the team. But Mourinho will be well aware that Courtois has made it clear he isn’t willing to keep being farmed out on loan and is looking to sort out his future after this summer’s World Cup.
While Cech has been Mourinho’s number-one during the Portuguese manager’s two spells at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea boss certainly wouldn’t be afraid to drop the club’s long-time number-one in order to accommodate one of world football’s most talented young goalkeepers.
Before Courtois gives any thought to his long term future, the keeper will soon be on his way to Brazil with the rest of the Belgium squad, and the young keeper will be hoping to play a part in a team that has been tipped by many Matchbook fans to be this summer’s surprise package in the tournament.
This is a guest article by Celia Roche, a staff at OMRUK.