Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists he does not intend to sell the club's experienced goalkeeper Petr Cech, despite the fact he will allow Thibaut Courtois to compete for a starting berth this season.
Martin Lipton of the Mirror covered the Special One's thoughts about his goalkeeping quandary, but the coach was clear that he has no intention of moving the Chelsea legend on:
My situation for the season is fantastic. To have Cech and Courtois means we have the best young goalkeeper in the world and one of the top-three or five most experienced keepers. For me and Chelsea, it’s perfect. Maybe one of them won’t be happy but the Chelsea supporters will be happy and they’re more important than players.
Cech has been the West London club's first-choice keeper since his arrival a decade ago, but his place is seriously under threat from Courtois, who has starred for Atletico Madrid in La Liga across three loan spells.
The Belgian ace was integral to Atletico's run in the league last year, culminating in a glorious championship victory and a place in the Champions League final.
Courtois featured 49 times for Atletico last season and also played five times for his country at the World Cup in Brazil, per WhoScored.com.
The 22-year-old is already rated as one of the best in European club football and he will not want to start his Chelsea career in earnest, sat on the bench.
Cech's reputation has gone into slight decline over the past couple of seasons as errors start to creep into his game. He is certainly not the colossus of several years ago and he will find the challenge of Courtois a difficult one to match.
But Matt Hughes of The Times recently tweeted that Mourinho was keen to incentivise Cech to stay and fight for his place by offering him the vice-captaincy of the club, after Frank Lampard's departure:
Matt Law of The Telegraph also had his say on the goalkeeper debate at Chelsea and praised Cech in his recent comeback for the club, saying he is ready to fight for his place.
Chelsea's dilemma is one that Mourinho will relish—having the luxury of two top-class goalkeepers fighting for their place in the first team. Long term, it is likely that Courtois will win the battle with Cech but the Blues' boss must be mindful that the Belgian may take some time to adjust to life in the Premier League.
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Allowing Cech to go at this time would be unwise and Mourinho needs to micro-manage the situation. Undoubtedly, Courtois may go on to be the very best on the planet but Chelsea can ill afford to sacrifice results as the change evolves.
Cech is still a fine keeper and offering him the vice-captaincy will show how much Mourinho values his experience and leadership qualities. He can help Courtois settle into life smoothly at Stamford Bridge and ensure that the future is bright for the club.