Jan 10, 2014, 8:01 PM EST
Chelsea find themselves between a rock and a hard place regarding their goalkeeping future.
It’s an age-old problem in sports that to this day no one has perfected (save maybe the Indianapolis Colts).
In one hand: an aging, tenured veteran who the fans adore and still has a bit left in the tank at the top level. In the other hand: a budding young star who wants to play and deserves to.
The first is Petr Cech. The second is Thibaut Courtois.
With Courtois already a household name having spent the past three seasons on loan to Atletico Madrid and supplanting Simon Mignolet as the Belgian number one, he’s going to start – somewhere – next season.
Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho, having the legendary Petr Cech in goal makes things difficult.
“My agent is talking with Chelsea. One of the coming weeks I’ll have a chat with Jose Mourinho,” Courtois reportedly said. “I think there will be a decision about my future at the end of March, or in the first weeks of April.”
Mourinho is well aware of the situation, and outwardly he’s confident. Back in November, he reassured fans saying,
“In this moment we are in a good situation,” he said. “I repeat that because we have the best goalkeeper in the world at a stable age. And Courtois is undoubtedly the best young goalkeeper in the world with two more years of contract. We are in control of the situation.”
But it wouldn’t appear that is the case. At 31 years old, the Headgear Hero still has a lot left in the tank. Mourinho in November referenced Edwin van der Sar’s long-lasting career. The legendary Dutch keeper moved from Fulham to Manchester United at an older age than Cech is now (35, to be exact) and proceeded to become an Old Trafford icon.
However, Courtois wants to start now, and that’s understandable. The 21-year-old has a clean sheet in half his La Liga matches this year, and has helped Atletico Madrid into a title challenge against Barcelona and Real Madrid.
But the real reason he’s swiftly becoming so coveted is because he’s been able to keep his form in the Champions League, something where many budding players falter.
Barcelona originally approached Courtois about becoming their goalkeeper of the future, but when he turned down the advance they opted for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, a move which looks imminent this summer.
With Barca out of the picture, Mourinho can breathe on the situation…for now. But convincing Courtois to stay put much longer as second fiddle is going to be next to impossible. So what is a Portugese manager to do?
Will he cement Cech’s legendary status by keeping him at Stamford Bridge for a while longer? Or will he disrespect Chelsea’s all-time great by selecting Courtois as Chelsea’s keeper of the future?
Premier League Saturday highlights: Manchester United skirts by Arsenal, Newcastle gets fifth straight win
Nov 22, 2014, 10:41 PM EST
Watch Premier League highlights from all of Saturday’s Round 12 games.
Nov 22, 2014, 9:47 PM EST
New York Red Bulls’ Designated Player Tim Cahill is far from doubting his team’s capabilities against the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Championship on Sunday.
Nov 22, 2014, 7:56 PM EST
La Liga weekend roundup, as it stands now.
Nov 22, 2014, 7:12 PM EST
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho apologized to supporters for criticizing the stadium atmosphere, while praising his team’s play in a 2-0 blanking of West Brom.
Nov 22, 2014, 6:45 PM EST
Rooney: “We weathered the storm” in 2-1 victory over Arsenal.
Nov 22, 2014, 5:15 PM EST
His squad controlling possession and gathering a fair amount of chances on goal, Arsene Wenger believes his side deserved a better result against Manchester United.
Nov 22, 2014, 5:03 PM EST
One game is a rematch of the 3-3 draw that left Luis Suarez in tears, but both Palace and Liverpool have much bigger things to worry about.
Nov 22, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
All the action from the PL’s seven games on Saturday.
Nov 22, 2014, 4:45 PM EST
Elsewhere, USMNT defenders Timmy Chandler (right) and John Anthony Brooks picked up wins in 90 minutes each for their clubs.
Nov 22, 2014, 4:25 PM EST
Despite an wonderful 1-0 result over QPR to keep their winning run alive, Alan Pardew feels the pain of Ryan Taylor’s sudden injury.
Nov 22, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
Barcelona’s diminutive legend is really good at soccer.
Nov 22, 2014, 3:38 PM EST
This season, he has all his players and no excuses. So The Special One is a little ticked off that his Blues aren’t pouring forth goals to match their dominant play.
Nov 22, 2014, 3:35 PM EST
Irvine: “We actually went a goal down to a goal which I thought was offside and that makes life very difficult here.”
Nov 22, 2014, 3:32 PM EST
Red Devils surge to victory away at Arsenal, as LVG’s masterplan is taking shape.
Nov 22, 2014, 2:51 PM EST
And there’s still time Saturday to make the record his own, as the game is just at halftime.
Nov 22, 2014, 2:34 PM EST
What did we learn from United’s big win at the Emirates? Plenty. But here’s three things.
Nov 22, 2014, 2:28 PM EST
A testy affair that could’ve gotten Jack Wilshere a red card instead got him injured, and Arsenal had no finish at the Emirates.
Nov 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
Klopp has been at Dortmund since 2008 when he arrived from Mainz, and would likely have his choice of jobs should Dortmund let him walk.
Nov 22, 2014, 12:14 PM EST
Foxes and Black Cats cancel each other out at the King Power.
Nov 22, 2014, 12:06 PM EST
Bafetimbi Gomis should’ve put Swansea City level five minutes from time, but he tipped the ball over Hart and wide of the goal.
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