Scouting Report: Could Chelsea Replace Thibaut Courtois with Yoel?

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Scouting Report: Could Chelsea Replace Thibaut Courtois with Yoel?
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Chelsea's Atletico Madrid loanee, Thibaut Courtois, is keeping Blues management on tenterhooks. What if he requests a permanent transfer to Atleti? In that scenario, Chelsea should consider replacing Courtois with Celta Vigo goalkeeper Yoel, so here is a scouting report on the 25-year-old Spaniard. 

 

It's Complicated

Courtois gave a peculiar response when asked about his future.

"I am not going to say if I will stay or not," Courtois said, per El Larguero (h/t ESPN). "What I will say is that next week I will announce my decision."

Ideally, the decision should be simple for Courtois: go back to Chelsea and beat out Petr Cech for the No. 1 spot.

In reality, the decision is complicated because having started 104 La Liga games for Atleti, Courtois feels more connected to them than Chelsea, his parent club. 

Courtois' relationship with Chelsea could be headed for a divorce if you are to read between the lines of his attention-seeking statement and then factor in his father making it clear Courtois would not be sitting on the Chelsea bench, per Marca (h/t talkSPORT).

Rather than keep an unhappy Courtois, Chelsea should sell him.

If Wolfsburg were willing to pay Chelsea £16.7 million for Kevin De Bruyne—per the Telegraphwho had no recent form at the time to justify the fee, Chelsea should strive to sell Courtois, a world-class goalkeeper, for £30 million-plus.

Courtois' war of words with compatriot and Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet (both want to be the Belgian No. 1 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup), per Sport/Foot Magazine (h/t Sky Sports), shows Courtois does not like competition. 

To Chelsea fans who want to keep Courtois, you know he will start running his mouth to BBC Sport, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, et al. when he sits on the bench for a prolonged period. 

In that situation, it fosters a negative atmosphere in the dressing room and creates a sideshow that will become a talking point until there is a resolution. 

Cech or Courtois? Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho needs to pick one and ditch the other. 

If Chelsea part ways with Courtois, one suggested transfer target is Yoel from Celta. 

 

Yoel, Who? 

David Ramos/Getty Images

Yoel is a 6'1", 172-pound goalkeeper who has taken his game to the next level under Celta manager Luis Enrique, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona player. 

Celta's defence has repeatedly broken apart throughout the season, only to be bailed out by Yoel, who has conjured up a myriad brilliant saves. 

During Celta's 0-0 draw against Villarreal, Yoel denied Villarreal right winger Javier Aquino from point-blank range after he was teed up by Villarreal centre-forward Jonathan Pereira. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Real Betis right attacking midfielder Cedrick and centre-forward Jorge Molina were both in acres of space during Celta's 2-1 win over Betis.

They had no pressure, had time to set their shots and were still foiled by Yoel's reflexes.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.
Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Levante centre-forward David Barral was one-on-one with Yoel, who came out on top in Celta's 1-0 win over Levante.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Those four saves were game-changing moments for Celta. 

Yoel's best individual performance was during Celta's 2-1 defeat to Atleti.

He made 10 saves including an unbelievable double-save to thwart Atleti centre-forward Diego Costa from the penalty spot and then Atleti centre-forward David Villa on the follow-up.

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Yoel made another world-class save by stopping Barca deep-lying forward Lionel Messi from scoring in Celta's 3-0 defeat to Barca.

Messi cut in from the right, created separation from Celta centre-back Gustavo Cabral and got off a shot destined for the back of the net. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com.

Yoel may have conceded three that night, but he was five-for-five against Messi. 

 

Bottom Line 

League Only Courtois  Yoel 
     
Saves 55 103
Goals Conceded 20 44
Saves Per Goal Conceded 2.8 2.3
Save Percentage 75.3 70.5
     
Source: Fox Soccer    
     

Yoel's saves per goal conceded and save percentage is in the ballpark of Courtois' world-class season, so it speaks volumes of how underrated Yoel is.

Manuel Almunia (Arsenal), Jose Pinto (Barca) and Richard Dutruel (Barca) all signed for major teams after playing for Celta, so Yoel could follow that trend (he should be aiming to be better than the aforementioned three keepers). 

Courtois is going to kick up a fuss at Chelsea if things do not go his way, whereas Yoel could be a solid No. 2, who can deputise for Cech with the view of ascending to the No. 1 position. 

Therein lies why Courtois is at a crossroads in his Chelsea career—he wants to be granted the No. 1 spot, as opposed to winning it from Cech.

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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