Chelsea Transfers: Should Chelsea sell Petr Cech for a profit and make Courtois the number one choice?
Probably Jose Mourinho will have one of the toughest decisions in his career as a Chelsea manager when he has to deal with two extremely talented players, who unfortunately cannot play together in the first team. Petr Cech has been Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper ever since he was boldly installed in place of Carlo Cudicini, by a young and aggressive Jose Mourinho in his first reign with the Blues. And now an older and similarly aggressive Mourinho faces a young star, a player who is as good as Cech and has several years of footballing career ahead of him. Thibaut Courtois, already among the best keepers in the world seems set to replace Petr Cech.
Replacing Petr Cech as the first choice, and thereby having significantly higher game-time than the established Czech Republic star, Thibaut Courtois can kick start his long Chelsea career from now. But Cech, who is 32 this year, is still young in goalkeeping years and has at least half a decade of decent top flight football in him. He has experience and quality that any team in the world would fight for. As last season’s joint Golden Glove winner, Cech wouldn’t ideally prefer a second choice role, even though he would accept it graciously as a thorough professional, similar to what Casillas is doing at Real Madrid. Though, if a player of the quality of Cech is to be sold, he would currently fetch a good profit for the Blues. But should he be sold?
There have been reports that PSG and Monaco are interested in acquiring his services, and it is reasonable as they can afford to pay his high wages. But news has also been that Cech does not want a move away from the Stamford Bridge as he is satisfied with the club and wants to stay, as his agent revealed. Cech, at age 32, is well settled in London and moving away would be something he wouldn’t like to do. But the shot stopper, who had a career threatening head injury eight years ago, has visibly started to show signs of struggles, especially last season where he wasn’t as convincing as before, despite being one of the best in the World. Thibaut Courtois had revealed, in 2011, that Chelsea’s goalkeeping coach had said that Petr Cech has about 3 years left as the first choice keeper, which is now complete as the Belgian looks to cement his place.
General perception is that Cech, who is more injury prone in comparison to Courtois would mostly be used as a rotation option in cup competitions and some Premier League games, giving up a rough estimate of 60 per cent of his usual playing time to Courtois. This can work out for Chelsea’s liking. Cech has huge experience and most definitely he can be used in the Champions League. But he has struggled with the physicality in set piece situations in the Premier League as Chelsea looked extremely vulnerable and lacked decisiveness while defending corners and free kicks as Cech struggled, something which Courtois does with panache because of his youth and strength.
Selling Petr Cech would deny young Courtois a mentor, a senior. Cech, who replaced a well performing Cudicini, learned a lot from the Italian when he was a youngster. Frank Lampard in similar situations lost his place as the first team playmaker to Juan Mata, yet he was used as an effective substitute for the last few years gaining sufficient playing time. Courtois and Cech, in tandem can make Chelsea a strong force. Cech, if he retires in a few years, can even start a coaching role with the club.
The Final Verdict:
Even if Thibaut Courtois is made the first choice, legendary Petr Cech must not be sold, for the mere sake of profit making. Chelsea, of all clubs, have the ability to make profit via other means than selling one of their marquee performers and a key member of their Golden Generation who still has some good footballing years and adds to the list of Club Legends. Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, both Blues legends departed the club leaving only two of their old guard- Captain John Terry and Petr Cech. Being a long term servant to the Club, Cech adds face to the club and he should stay as long as he wants, probably until his retirement.