There have now been some positive rumours about the young Belgian star Thibaut Courtois and Jose Mourinho. Seemingly, Mourinho wants Courtois back in Chelsea for the next season, especially when first choice Petr Cech just had a surgery following a dislocated shoulder. The recovery time would keep the Chelsea no.1 out for about 8 to 10 weeks at least after which the keeper would need time to get back to full match fitness. This can be a huge opportunity for the Belgian goalkeeper to step up and grab the first team spot with both hands.
Courtois and Cech have been neck to neck in terms of stats this season. According to Squawka stats, in the League, Atletico have had 20 clean-sheets with Courtois on goal while Cech has had 16 to his credit having played a game lesser than the Belgian. Courtois makes 2.75 saves per goal whereas Cech makes 2.26 saves per goal. Significant differences are in the number of catches and punches, that shows the type of keepers they are. Courtois has had only 4 punches whereas Cech has had 12. But the Czech player-of-the-year misses out on the number of catches (65) in comparison to Courtois’ (83). This somewhat shows us the assurance and confidence the young keeper has. Cech prefers to punch the ball clear on occasions where the Belgian would hold on to it.
Courtois has been the vital cog in the Atletico Madrid team that has stunned the pundits by being the front runners in the La Liga title race as well as being in the UCL Final. Courtois’ performances have led to Atleti having an unbeaten run in the Champions League. Having faced some of the world’s best attackers in Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Iniesta, Benzema etc consistently for three seasons, Courtois is anything but ready to take on the Premier League.
He is a very cool and confident player who likes to pass on this confidence to his defenders. At an age of 22, Thibaut Courtois has a lot of time on his side, as goalkeepers start entering their peak years in their late twenties. In Petr Cech, they have a keeper who is still pretty young but he has struggled off late especially in set piece situations. Petr Cech is yet among the world’s best keepers but his injuries and a delicate physique seem to be playing a part in the Czech’s somewhat inconsistencies in protecting his goals. Cech has led in quite a few goals through his near post as well as committed some errors that led to goal. He has been spectacular at times, saving Chelsea’s defence and helping them hold on to the game, one example being the Super Cup where Bayern was mounting attack after attack and Cech kept negating that.
With Courtois bound to come to Chelsea, the Blues will be having three goalkeepers- Courtois, Cech and Schwarzer. Courtois and Cech would be expected to battle for the top position whereas Schwarzer may play as an experienced veteran as a reserve goalkeeper in his last stages of his career. As Chelsea look to finally mount a proper title challenge with a complete squad, two world class goal-keepers are a luxury for the team and Chelsea have it. How Jose Mourinho keeps both the players happy is something that can be one of his biggest tests in his second stint as Chelsea manager.