Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the first casualty of Chelsea’s January transfer window will be veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, with the Australian joining Leicester City.
As relayed on Sky Sports The Special One bade the 42-year-old a public fond farewell, and thanked him for his service over the course of the past season and a half. The former Fulham hero moved to Stamford Bridge as cover for Petr Cech in 2013 and made 12 appearances in all competitions for the Blues, most notably in the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid last season.
Yet the recall of Thibaut Courtois from his loan, coincidentally at Atletico, pushed Schwarzer down the pecking order and he’s been the third choice goalkeeper since the start of the campaign. With Cech thus far having been unable to force Courtois from his position as the No.1 in west London Schwarzer never really stood a chance of playing, and so a move away was needed if he harbours desires of continuing his long career.
That doesn’t meant that his departure won’t be felt however, as Mourinho confirmed.
“First of all I want to say public all thank Mark Schwarzer who is leaving us and he was a fantastic guy for us.
"First of all I want to say public all thank Mark Schwarzer who is leaving us and he was a fantastic guy for us"
“As a goalkeeper when we needed him, he was there for us, and as a person and a professional he was an amazing guy in our group.
“On behalf of my staff and players I want to say we are going to miss the big guy and we wish him all the best in his new life at Leicester City.”
One piece of positive news Chelsea fans can take from the announcement is that Cech will now certainly be staying at Stamford Bridge. Having lost his place to Courtois many expected him to begin his search for a new club during the winter transfer window, with a host of European clubs said to be circling the situation with interest.
Mourinho also moved to allay fears that one of the club’s most loyal servants would be leaving virtue of having lost his place, and made it known that Cech will continue to be a Chelsea player until at least the summer.
“I won't be bringing in a new goalkeeper - Jamal Blackman will return from Middlesbrough on loan.
“He was not playing for them, so for us he is a young English goalkeeper who will go into our Champions League squad as an U21 and stay and compete with Thibaut Courtois and Cech.
“So there is no chance that Cech will be leaving in the January transfer window.”
As for Schwarzer’s future he’ll now start work on trying to ensure that Nigel Pearson’s side can beat the drop, with The Foxes sitting in a precarious position near the halfway point of the season. Leicester’s recent form hasn’t been too bad, but going back further than their last three matches they suffered a six game losing streak and currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League table.