Chelsea Transfer News: Keeping Thibaut Courtois in Madrid Will Pay off in Future

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2013

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 16:  Thibaut Courtois of Belgium celebrates their first goal during the FIFA 2012 World Cup Qualifier match between Belgium and Scotland on October 16, 2012 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

In a move that many may consider questionable, Chelsea have decided to loan 21-year-old goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Atletico Madrid for the third consecutive campaign. 

According to the Daily Mirror, the decision to extend the netminder's stay with Atletico Madrid for yet another year was what Courtois wanted.

Fans who have kept up with Courtois' career with the La Liga power may be getting antsy for him to finally join the team at Stamford Bridge. Since joining Atletico in 2011, the club has enjoyed tremendous success with him between the posts. 

In the past two years, the team has won the Copa del Rey, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup. He also earned the Zamora Trophy last campaign as the goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-game ration in La Liga after conceding just 29 goals in the club's 37 matches. 

In short, the 21-year-old has already shown that he's capable of playing at an elite level. 

However, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea brass are making the right decision in allowing him a third season as a star with Atletico. Because Chelsea still have their own star between the posts in Petr Cech. 

The 31-year-old has been a mainstay for the Blues for nearly a decade. Joining the club back in 2004, he's made 292 Premier League appearances. And according to's ranking of the top 15 goalkeepers in all of Europe from the 2012-13 campaign, he's still among the best. 

Cech checked in at No. 13 on that list, with a 6.92 rating for the entire season. 

As good as Courtois has been, his name was still nowhere to be seen. 

That isn't to say that Courtois can't get there. Considering the success he's had and the fact that he's 10 years younger than Cech, it's almost guaranteed that he will be on that list sooner rather than later. But for now, he doesn't do the Blues much good by being on their roster. 

Depth behind Cech may be a concern.

Both Henrique Hilario and Ross Turnbull, who backed up Cech last season, are currently free agents. However, a player of Courtois' caliber is better off developing his skills going against some of the best strikers in the premier Spanish league than toiling away on Chelsea's bench in case something were to happen to Cech. 

With veterans like Mark Scherzer on the market after being released by Fulham, the Blues would be much better off finding a short-term solution in goal while allowing Courtois to develop into the future superstar that he's bound to become. 


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