One of the biggest questions heading into the new Premier League season for Chelsea was who Jose Mourinho would choose to be the team’s No. 1 goalkeeper. The choice Mourinho had was between the young and quickly emerging Thibaut Courtois, or the older and more experienced Petr Cech.
Courtois had enjoyed an impressive and successful few years on loan at Atletico Madrid, and it was really only a matter of time as to when the Belgian would succeed Cech as Chelsea’s No. 1 goalkeeper. And sure enough, that time is now, as Mourinho shown his hand by selecting Courtois to start the opening game against Burnley on Monday.
The decision seems to be the right one, and although Cech is a Chelsea legend, Courtois is clearly the future of the club in that position. But what should Cech do now? Does he stay and be the No. 2? Does he try to fight for his place? In his best interests, Cech should aim to leave Chelsea right now
Cech has been through a similar scenario before, although back in 2004, he was on the other end of the situation. Carlo Cudicini was Chelsea’s No. 1 goalkeeper back then, and Mourinho decided, in the interest of Chelsea’s long-term future, to go with the younger Cech. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and Mourinho has selected a goalkeeper in Courtois who could be the No. 1 for at least the next 10 years if all goes according to plan.
Cech, for his remaining years in the game, needs to move fast. Age 32 is not particularly old for a goalkeeper, but he still does not have the time to be sitting on the bench as a spectator. Cech could still easily get a move to a top Champions League level club, and in the interest of the final phase of his career, that’s exactly what he should try and do.