Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has caught the eye of the world with a stellar season on loan from Chelsea at Atletico Madrid.
The youngster managed 20 clean sheets and 70 saves in 37 games this season. Now, with the season over, Chelsea face a conundrum as to whether to retain veteran Petr Cech or to hand over the gloves to the promising Courtois.
As far as Courtois’ own intent goes, he has made his position starkly clear. He was recently quoted saying: "I have the biggest respect for Petr Cech. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world so I think putting him and me in the same team is not the healthiest thing in the world.”
It is evident that he will not be willing to play as a second-choice 'keeper. Chelsea can either immediately install him as their first choice or risk losing him to another club.
Cech, on the other hand, has seemed almost ambivalent, perhaps willing to take the path tjat he is given. He too has had an outstanding season with 16 clean sheets and 81 saves from 34 games, which could give impetus for Jose Mourinho to continue with the veteran for another few seasons.
However, one must assume that 22-year-old Courtois will probably be seeking a permanent move rather than a loan, should he not be given the role he desires at Chelsea.
Meanwhile, reports by the Metro have suggested that Cech could a move to Paris Saint-Germain, following David Luiz. If such a move should occur, it would be a win-win situation for all parties.
Whether Cech stays or leaves, the decision will ultimately come down to the manager and the owner. Should he stay, it would not be redundant to Chelsea as Cech is one of the best 'keepers in the world, as he proved with his tenacity this season.
Should Chelsea replace him with one of the most promising goalkeepers in the world, it would again be for the best.
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