Thibaut Courtois signed a new deal on Thursday according to which he will remain at Chelsea for the next five years. The 22-year-old goalkeeper was signed by Chelsea from Genk in 2011 and was loaned to Atletico Madrid where he proved himself to be the one of the best goalkeepers in the world, winning the La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year award ahead of the legendary Iker Casillas in 2013. Last season his performances helped Atletico win the La Liga and reach the finals of the UEFA Champions League.
He returned to Chelsea this year on the assurances that he would be the new number one for Chelsea and will not be used sparingly. And likewise, Jose Mourinho has made him the main goalkeeper after deciding Chelsea can not afford to let the world’s best young goalkeeper go, putting veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech’s future in doubt.
Former chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, in his interview with London Evening Standard, said that Petr Cech would leave if he fails to get a starting spot.
“He can go anywhere. Any team in the world will take him, but it was different for me.
A goalkeeper of his calibre will try to win the number 1 jersey back but if Courtois does his job well and keeps it, then I don’t think that Petr will stay.”
Courtois has started all three matches for Chelsea in the Premier League as Cech was kept as an unused substitute. And in all the three matches Courtois performed brilliantly, commanding his box and dealing with the aerial threats with ease. While he has managed only one clean sheet in three matches, anybody who has seen the matches can say with conviction that he was faultless for the goals Chelsea have conceded.
This has seen his stock rise and on Thursday, as was expected, Courtois was handed a new 5-year deal, which means he is the future of the club. During the summer transfer season, it was widely speculated that Cech would leave Chelsea, PSG seeming the most interested, but Mourinho had convinced Cech to stay and fight for his place in the team. However now that Courtois has penned a new deal, chances of Cech returning to the starting line-up seem bleaker than ever before.
Petr Cech is 32, which is quite a young age for a goalkeeper, and he is tremendously fit. He holds the record for the highest number of clean sheets in the Barclays Premier League and last season he won the Golden Glove Award. He seems to be in the prime of his career at the moment and has some of his best years left in him. He would not like to waste this time sitting on the bench. So come this January, when the transfer window opens, he may want to leave, and considering his age and legendary status, there will be no shortage of takers.
PSG, for one, remain interested in signing Cech. Their desire to be champions of Europe have made them sign top players for astronomical amounts, and when it comes to experience of European nights, very few goalkeepers in the world have as impressive a resume as Cech. With a Champions League winner’s medal, which he won via a tremendous performance against Bayern Munich both during the 120 minutes and then the penalty shootout, and thrice winning UEFA Best Goalkeeper awards, Cech also has a know-how of the French League with his time at Rennes where he made 70 appearances and won the Best Goalkeeper of the French League in 2004. However, since PSG are walking a tight rope regarding the FFP, it is believed they want Cech on loan. And if it were to happen, Cech would be a better proposition than their current number 1 Salvatore Sirigu.
Apart from PSG, Monaco too are believed to be interested in signing Cech on loan. However, it may happen that Cech might want to sign somewhere permanently, considering winning back the starting spot from Courtois will be tough.
Real Madrid are weighing their goalkeeping options and are looking for someone to replace Casillas, who has lost his once legendary from. He is no more a natural starter as he used to be and is often left on the substitute’s bench for Diego Lopez. If both Real and Casillas decide to move on, Petr Cech will be the best option available.
Cech wouldn’t get a better club who have a bigger history, nor will it be a problem for Real Madrid to match his weekly wages. Also, Cech would be an automatic starter for Real if Cassilas leaves, which seems likely as Arsene Wenger has personally stated he wants Cassilas at the Emirates. So all in all, it seems Cech leaving would be the best decision for both him and Chelsea as Chelsea too have Schwarzer as back up.