Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea will not miss Petr Cech after replacing the Czech Republic international with Asmir Begovic this summer.
Cech left the Blues for Arsenal last month, against Mourinho’s wishes, after being granted permission by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich following 11 years of tremendous service at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho subsequently encouraged Chelsea to splash out £8 million for Bosnia and Herzegovina international Begovic, who came on for the Blues early in the second half of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City after Thibaut Courtois was sent off for tripping Bafétimbi Gomis.
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Cech endured a disappointing league debut for Arsenal against West Ham a day later - the 33-year-old was at fault for both goals in the 2-0 defeat - but before that Mourinho told reporters Chelsea would not miss the veteran shot-stopper.
“We don’t miss Petr,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. “We’ve got a good keeper, the problem with Petr is not that we miss him because we have two excellent keepers.
“Thibaut and Asmir are two fantastic keepers. My club did very well by getting a keeper on time and not on the August 31 because if my club gives me a keeper on August 31 then we have a problem not just for Swansea, but also for the next match."
Asmir Begovic will start against Man City
Because of Courtois’ one-match ban, Begovic will now be required to start against the team many expect will push Chelsea hardest in the race for the Premier League title this season: Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea would, of course, have felt a lot more comfortable with the world-class Courtois in their ranks for this fixture - but the fact Begovic possesses so much Premier League experience suggests he won’t be daunted by the task in hand.
And after watching Cech’s nightmare against West Ham on Sunday, part of Mourinho might secretly feel relieved he now has Begovic at his disposal instead.
Chelsea fans: would you rather have Asmir Begovic or Petr Cech starting in goal against Manchester City this weekend? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!