Chelsea Transfer News: Jose Mourinho Comments Put New Faith in Thibaut Courtois

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

Belgium's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois gestures, after Belgium won 2-1 against Serbia, during their World Cup 2014 Group A qualifying soccer match at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Friday, June 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
Yves Logghe/Associated Press

An increasing amount of doubt has been placed on the Chelsea No. 1 jersey, with Petr Cech maintaining good standards after being reunited with Jose Mourinho and Thibaut Courtois' time at Atletico Madrid going so swimmingly.

The Belgian stopper will once again come back to Stamford Bridge this summer from his third successive loan spell at the Vicente Calderon, with this summer being teed up as a make-or-break decision point.

COBHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17:  Manager Jose Mourinho of Chelsea attends a Chelsea Press Conference at Cobham Training Ground on January 17, 2014 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

However, Mourinho is keen to keep his options as open as possible, and Sky Sports quotes the Blues boss as saying that Courtois remains his player, a future in West London still awaiting his charge.

When quizzed on his chances of signing another Atletico star Diego Costa, the Chelsea helmsman stated: 

"Courtois is our player, Diego is not our player, so I cannot speak about Diego Costa. About Courtois, I can, because he is my player."

A simple "no" was the only response given when asked if Courtois would be heading back to Madrid for a fourth period next term.

It's a difficult conundrum for the Premier League side, who would find it untenable to juggle the expectations of two players who have showed they're of an elite standard in two of Europe's top teams.

During his time in the Spanish capital, Courtois has developed even more rapidly than his parent club would have expected, providing Diego Simeone with a stingy figure in between the posts.

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 11:  Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois of Atletico de Madrid greets the audience after the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on January 11, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzal
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

With a Europa League Crown, a Copa del Rey trophy and a UEFA Super Cup to his name from the last two seasons, one can understand why the temptations of playing consistent first-team football are now a minimum that Courtois has come to expect.

The Daily Star's Gary Jones reports the 21-year-old as recently remarking:

I am only 21, but I have been starting for four years, playing over 40 games per season. I can't imagine not playing.

I hope that if I will move back to Chelsea, it will be to play, otherwise another solution will have to be found.

But Cech is no easy stalwart for Chelsea to simply forget. At just 31 years of age, the Czech stopper is showing no signs of deterioration, and although an infatuation with the youth of today might see some opt for a younger alternative with more potential, there's nothing wrong with a winning formula.   

Football Radar's Jack Rathborn suggested that hanging onto Cech now wouldn't be a risk as Chelsea could find another prospect of Courtois' quality in the time he has remaining at the club:

If Mourinho isn't planning to see Courtois remain with Atleti next season, there's a chance that the idea of rotating the two keepers may appeal to the Chelsea tactician, although Real Madrid's use of Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas would serve as example that it's a difficult blend to get right.

This summer will answer some yet unsolved questions regarding who's revered more at Stamford Bridge, at a juncture that may force the club into cutting off one of their options.