Chelsea face a huge dilemma going into next season, for the first time since 2004/5 they have genuine competition for Petr Cech. On that occasion the Czech was the young goalkeeper challenging the then established Carlo Cudicini, but now he is the one being threatened by Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian arrived at the club in 2011, but he has been on loan at Atletico for three seasons. It looks like it is finally time for him to come back to Chelsea and challenge to be the side’s number one. He has been nothing short of sensational in Spain, becoming one of the best goalkeepers in Europe in the process.
Courtois had a brilliant season as he was part of the side that won La Liga and came runners up in the Champions League. Incredibly he played a part in knocking his parent club out of the competition. He kept 20 clean sheets in the league, which isn’t too surprising as Atletico has a very good defensive set up. The goalkeeper was a big part of that and he will be a massive miss to the side next season. He also made an average of 1.62 saves a game and only conceded, on average, 0.65 goals. These highlight how good Courtois is and why Jose Mourinho is keen to get him back to London.
Meanwhile, the current Chelsea goalkeeper also had a good season, but injuries have started to enter his game. He kept 16 clean sheets in 34 league matches, which is a slightly worse rate than Courtois. He also conceded more goals per game with 0.71, which may highlight why Mourinho may make the change this summer. The Chelsea goalkeeper was busier though, as he had to make just over two saves per match. This may highlight the stronger opposition that he has had to face on a regular basis.
Unfortunately for Petr Cech, it is looking increasingly likely that Courtois will be the man that Mourinho opts for as he continues to remove the old guard. Ashley Cole has already departed, while Frank Lampard’s future is still precarious. It’s a little bit of a surprise that the manager is carrying out the changes so quickly, but they may have been orders from above his head as Abramovich has been keen to get rid of the older players for a number of seasons now. The goalkeeper has been linked with a move to PSG, however, it’s unclear whether Chelsea will want to keep him for competition purposes or try and recoup the money they paid back in 2004.
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when making such a big decision. For example, Cech has a lot more experience in the Premier League and he is used to playing under Mourinho. While he has also confirmed that his ability hasn’t deteriorated over recent seasons. However, Courtois brings the youthful exuberance that Abramovich wants to fill the team with and he has proven himself as a top keeper capable of winning big competitions. He will also pick up less injuries than Cech, which will be a huge positive as the Chelsea goalkeeper missed some crucial games this season.