Chelsea Transfer News: Blues Must Resist Petr Cech Sale Amid High Speculation

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 8, 2014

Chelsea's Petr Cech arrives for a training session at Cobham in England Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Chelsea will play a Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Jose Mourinho has a tough decision to make in assigning a No. 1 at Chelsea this summer, but the proposed sale of goalkeeper Petr Cech would leave Thibaut Courtois free to claim the club's starting berth.

Interest in the Czech veteran is reported to be rife, with Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard claiming that both Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are readying bids.

ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 30:  Goalkeeper, Petr Cech of Chelsea looks on during the pre season friendly match between Vitesse Arnhem and Chelsea at the Gelredome Stadium on July 30, 2014 in Arnhem, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Guardian's Barry Glendenning adds that Real Madrid are also willing to plump for the Blues' stopper, but for the good of both the club and Courtois, Cech's services should be retained.

The loan of Oriol Romeu to Stuttgart means that Chelsea now meet the Premier League foreign player maximum quota of 17 players from abroad over the age of 21.

However, should the club wish to acquire any more foreign assets, they'll be operating on a strict one-in, one-out policy in order to meet regulations.

On paper, the formula seems relatively simple. In Courtois and Cech, the club have two elite-standard keepers, with Mark Schwarzer providing backup, but only one of that former pair might be required.

Courtois, 22, is by a decade the younger of the two and a 2013-14 La Liga winner while on loan at Atletico Madrid. The debate is certainly strong in regard to why Mourinho would entrust the starlet with the keys to his kingdom.

However, impressive though his three seasons at the Vicente Calderon might have been, there is no guarantee the 22-year-old's form translates so smoothly to the English top flight.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  Petr Cech of Chelsea takes a goal kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

After all, it was another ex-Atletico prodigy, David de Gea, who struggled so much upon first moving to Manchester United, and Sir Alex Ferguson assuredly might have wished for an alternative of Cech's quality at that time.

After Chelsea's pre-season 3-0 defeat against Werder Bremen, Mourinho was quoted by the Daily Mail's Oliver Todd in praising Courtois but has yet to decide on a No. 1:

Courtois has only had two days of training, he is not ready. He needs to play, we don’t have lots of time until the beginning of the season – there’s two more weeks so we need to give him more playing time.

Petr (Cech) is the same so the decision was 45-45 here and the next match in Turkey will be exactly the same thing. He (Courtois) had a fabulous save from the (Franco) Di Santo header, after that in the other two goals he has no chance and he was quiet - but the save was fantastic.

For 10 years now, Cech has stood guard at Chelsea's gates, and OptaJoe shows what a reliable servant the 32-year-old has been in that time:

Of course, the prevalent hype around Courtois is strong; the swish, latest-edition model, if you will. However, trading in Cech's guaranteed results at this juncture would be folly, even if it freed up space for another star arrival.

At the very least, one would think Cech's presence should be kept around in a rotation capacity with his recently arrived teammate, a valuable mentor figure to have alongside him.

Courtois will be playing with a new defence and new tactics ahead of him at Stamford Bridge, the only likeness being that Filipe Luis will be familiar with the starlet's habits.

He's older, maybe, but Cech is not the over-the-hedge geriatric that the age gap between these two might have one believe. Moreover, he remains one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and indeed the whole of Europe.

Boasting two such high-class goalkeepers among one's ranks is a growing trend it seems, with Real Madrid last season jostling between Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas, while Manchester City have now signed Malaga's Willy Caballero as competition for Joe Hart.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13:  Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech watches the match between Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic and Kevin Anderson of South Africa during their Men's Singles on day five of the Aegon Championships at Queens Club on June 13, 2014 in
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Chelsea, at least for now, should follow a similar suit and not put all their eggs in Courtois' basket, the goalkeeper being of a rare value that's more difficult to find than in other areas of the squad.

Mourinho would be wise to ensure his long-time servant stays on in West London, and if/when Courtois is more assured as the Premier League powerhouse he's for some years seemed destined to be, Cech's departure may be justified.


    Arsenal Beating Blues in Future Preparedness

    Chelsea logo

    Arsenal Beating Blues in Future Preparedness

    The Pride of London
    via The Pride of London

    PSG Drop Interest in 'Inconsistent' Dybala

    World Football logo
    World Football

    PSG Drop Interest in 'Inconsistent' Dybala | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale
    via | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale

    Lukaku Becomes 1st Prem Player to Sign with JAY-Z

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Lukaku Becomes 1st Prem Player to Sign with JAY-Z

    Rory Marsden
    via Bleacher Report

    Marotta Rules Out Bringing Back Pogba, Morata

    Chelsea logo

    Marotta Rules Out Bringing Back Pogba, Morata

    Matthew Stead
    via Football365