Chelsea captain John Terry has hailed the club’s young goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who will play at Stamford Bridge for the first time this evening, as “world class”.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, where Courtois has spent the last three seasons on loan, Terry was asked to give his thoughts on the young Belgium international who has made such a big impact in La Liga.
"Thibaut Courtois is a world class keeper,” the Blues’ skipper told reporters on Monday night. “That's why we signed him."
The 21-year-old has yet to make an appearance for Chelsea despite signing for the west London outfit in 2011. However, in the three seasons spent at the Vicente Calderon, Courtois has cemented his reputation as the best young goalkeeper in world football - and Jose Mourinho could opt to use him ahead of Petr Cech as his No. 1 next term.
Courtois kept a clean sheet against his parent club last week. A repeat performance would give Atletico every chance of reaching next month’s Champions League final in Lisbon, at Chelsea’s expense.
La Liga leaders Atletico hope to keep Courtois at the Vicente Calderon next season - although that could depend on the young goalkeeper agreeing to extend his current contract with the Blues.
Recent reports suggest the Belgian will put pen-to-paper on a new deal, which will keep him tied to Stamford Bridge until 2018.