You may have heard news a few days ago that Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has confirmed that he will not be renewing his contract at the Nou Camp. His deal expires in July 2014 so Barca will have him for a little longer but they are currently looking for his replacement and if you believe the rumours, they’re looking to try to sign Thibaut Courtois as a replacement.
Courtois joined us from Genk for £7 million in 2011 and has been on loan at Atletico Madrid ever since. Despite never playing for us, a lot of people see this man as the future first choice keeper here at the Bridge. Some are even tipping him for future world number 1 goalkeeper. This is the talent we possess and if you doubt his abilities, watch his triple save vs Betis on YouTube, it’s something special. Courtois has been in excellent form this season as well as being one of the best keepers in La Liga last year so it was inevitable for interest in the Big Belgian.
If Barcelona do come knocking, Chelsea face a difficult decision. Courtois has already stated his desire for another season on loan at Atletico as he feels he needs more first team experience which he probably wouldn’t get at Chelsea. Cech is the better keeper by a decent distance with a great deal more experience but it could get to the stage in a few years where Courtois overtakes Cech, but we may not have Courtois at this point.
If Barca come in with a big offer, will Chelsea take it? The club will need to decide how important Courtois is to our future if bids come in because his future will have a big impact on Petr Cech’s career. If we want Courtois to stay, first team football will need to be available to him but with Cech in the team, it’s always going to be a difficult scenario.
Seeing a club legend like Petr Cech leave would be devestating and I don’t want him to leave but I feel a situation like when Cech first arrived at Chelsea could happen again. Cudicini was a club favourite but when the young Czech goalkeeper was on to the scene, Cudicini was benched and we never looked back. Something similar could happen again leaving Cech second choice (not a bad second choice to have though eh?). There is also a few rumours and stories stating that Cech has persistant knee and back problems which could cut short his prestigious career. If Courtois stays, Cech sure won’t give up his gloves without a fight.
I don’t want to see Courtois leave though, he is a top talent and certainly is becoming one of the better goalkeepers in the world. 18 games and 9 clean sheets this season in La Liga is impressive and with him one end, Simeone on the bench, and Falcao at the other end, Atletico have a formidable team. At 21 years old, you can tell this guy has potential for the very top, especially if he could be tutored at Chelsea by a keeper such as Petr Cech.
I think Courtois is a little way off the first team at Chelsea at the moment but a loan to a Premier League club next season could certainly see him push for his place and hopefully push forward his career to the very top. If he does reach the very top, I sure hope it’s in a Chelsea shirt.
If Barca come in for Courtois, do we sell him or do we keep him? If we keep him, what happens with Cech? Share your views below or with us on Twitter! I’ll try and respond to them all!