Thibaut Courtois is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in the world. His title-winning performances have served him well at Stamford Bridge, establishing himself as a key first-team player.
However, it seems as though his performances may have gotten to his head with the Belgian reportedly seeking a move to the Bernabéu. For all his quality and world-class ability, can Chelsea put up with an unhappy player in their ranks?
Should Chelsea keep or sell Thibaut Courtois?
On the face of it, this question may appear absurd. But when you delve further into the 26-year-old’s situation at the Bridge, the question becomes more understandable.
Since joining in 2012, Thibaut Courtois has risen to superstardom in the Premier League. In fact, many now pit him against David De Gea for the title of best keeper in the league. That’s quite esteemed company and its testament to how much the Belgian has improved in recent years.
Despite winning four trophies in three seasons as Chelsea’s number one, Courtois has his heart set on leaving the Blues and rejected the club’s two offers to sign a new contract, this has enraged fans across West London. Clearly, the 26-year-old believes he’s outgrown his Chelsea teammates and can find a better deal somewhere else in Europe.
Let’s weigh up the positives and negatives of Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea.
- Elite: He’s one of the best keepers in the world and regularly delivers for Chelsea in high-profile situations.
- Young: At 26, Courtois is still classified as young for a keeper, meaning he has a lot of years left at the top level. And in that time, he may still get better.
- Leader: According to reports from his peers, the 26-year-old is an influential member of the dressing room. Due to his on the field brilliance and longstanding relationship with the club, the 26-year-old is a marquee player for the team.
- Unsettled: the fact of the matter is, Thibaut Courtois doesn’t want to be at Chelsea. All top players want to excel and for him, winning the Premier League is great but winning the UEFA Champions League would ultimately define his legacy. Clearly, Courtois believes he has a higher ceiling than Chelsea, this is perhaps based on his ambitions or the counsel of those around him. Regardless, money won’t keep him at Chelsea, European titles will. It doesn’t help matters that the Blues just put one of the worst title defences in history, further consolidating the keeper’s mindset.
- Passing: If there’s one critique of the Belgian, it’s his inefficient passing over long distances. That’s why Courtois could only average a mediocre 68.9% passing accuracy throughout last season.
In real terms, Thibaut Courtois’ contract expires next summer meaning if the Blues are to cash in on him, they must sell him this window. Entering into the last year of his contract, the most Chelsea could expect for Courtois is around £40m, a fee not representative of his true talents. Rumours already suggest that the Blues are set to sign Alisson Becker from Roma if so, that’s a clear indication that they’ve already decided to part ways with the 26-year-old.