According to reports, Chelsea are expecting £120,000-a-week goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to leave this summer. The Blues have failed to get him to agree to a new contract and since talks appear to have stalled, it does seem likely for Courtois to leave Stamford Bridge.
It is an unsettling time for Chelsea fans with the ongoing saga surrounding the future of manager Antonio Conte. Courtois’ potential departure adds more spice to the stories swirling around the club.
Chelsea’s London rivals, Arsenal, are entering a transition period as well, following the exit of Arsene Wenger after 22 long years. Wenger’s successor Unai Emery has a big task on his shoulders as he plots his way to take Arsenal back to the top after a few years of mediocrity.
To bring the glory days back at the Emirates, Emery needs to sort out his defence before he reinforces other areas of the pitch. While defensive reinforcements are the need of the hour, the Spanish boss must start right from the apex.
The area between the sticks has been a problem for Arsenal for a while now with Petr Cech clearly past his prime. After almost 15 seasons and a record 201 clean sheets, Cech has undoubtedly entered the twilight stages of his career.
Despite being one of the best goalkeepers to have ever graced the Premier League, the 36-year-old has been on a downward spiral since joining the Gunners in 2015 from Chelsea.
While Arsenal’s defence has been culpable for the inconsistent shows at the back, Cech’s presence between the sticks has done little and it is high time for Arsenal to move on from the veteran shot-stopper. But who will they sign to replace Cech in summer?
David Ospina clearly needs to be offloaded too, as the Colombian has hardly inspired confidence whenever he has been deployed. As a result, he also came under fire last season, making it safe to suggest that Arsenal need a young, reliable goalkeeper.
After Cech was sold to Arsenal in 2015, Courtois became the undisputed first-choice between the sticks at the Bridge. With time, the 26-year-old has established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in Europe.
At 6′ 6″, Courtois boasts great command over the box and his reflexes are worthy of a mention too. He is the first-choice for Belgium and has everything under his locker to further improve. A relatively quiet figure, the 26-year-old is very quick off the line and is just as adept at pulling off incredible saves.
Courtois has his best years ahead of him and is already a strong yet capable goalkeeper, making him a great choice for Arsenal. However, Chelsea would be reluctant to let their player join a direct rival but if Arsenal are able to come up with a sensational offer, the Blues might accept the deal.
In any case, it would be a win-win situation for both parties. Arsenal would get a top-quality replacement for the ageing Cech and Chelsea would finally be able to get the contract rebel off their books.