Chelsea star has a change of heart and has no intention of leaving.
Thibaut Courtois has been linked with a move back to Spain ever since he returned to Chelsea after three successful years spent on loa...
Thibaut Courtois has been linked with a move back to Spain ever since he returned to Chelsea after three successful years spent on loan at Atletico Madrid. Now, under Antonio Conte, he intends to stay and has distanced himself from a move to Real Madrid this summer.
Looking from the outside in at the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid with all their star names there is one thing that stands out for me which is their lack of world class qualities in goal. It’s something that has become apparent since Victor Valdes and Iker Casillas both left their clubs having maintained their first team place for several years throughout all the successes both clubs had.
Real Madrid’s recruitment policy since Casillas left the club has been nothing short of a shamble and as we have seen in recent seasons, the Spanish side are looking to the Premier League to sign a world class replacement with both David De Gea of Manchester United and Thibaut Courtois both being linked with offers being made this summer.
So to Courtois and the constant speculation of a move away from Chelsea. It’s fair to say that in the past he has not helped himself with comments he has made while being away with Belgium on international duty. He has claimed that some of the comments he has made have been mis-interpreted but things came to a head a year ago as he complained about the quality of training at Chelsea under Guus Hiddink after he replaced Jose Mourinho who was sacked during the course of the season as Chelsea (to this point with Leicester in mind this term) made the worst title defence on record.
In addition, Courtois’ wife is Spanish and it has been reported that he and his wife want to raise their family in Spain rather than in England which added more fuel to the constant speculation. Everything being reported up to this point had given a strong indication that the Belgian Goalkeeper would be looking to leave the club this summer and an offer from Real Madrid would be welcomed by Courtois.
However, speaking this week to a Spanish radio station Cadena Sur, Courtois has revealed a change of heart and has distanced himself with any ideas of moving away from Chelsea. He said:
“I don’t see myself at Real Madrid, I see myself at Chelsea, the club that six years ago saw me playing in Belgium and gave me the opportunity to sign for them. They also allowed me to be three years at Atlético [Madrid], which helped me to be the keeper that I am now."
Courtois was asked of the idea of extending his contract at Chelsea beyond the expiry of his current contract in 2019 and he responded by saying:
“We will see at the end of the season if they offer me something. For the time being, there has not been an offer. I’m happy in London and I’m delighted with the success we are having this season.” - Source: The Guardian.
You have to hand it to Antonio Conte and the impact he has had on the players in addition to the Premier League as a whole. The fact that Courtois has spoken in addition publicly of Conte and has urged Chelsea to tie the Italian manager down to a new extended contract speaks volumes.
Thibaut Courtois has once again demonstrated his importance to Chelsea in recent weeks and over the course of this season with outstanding performances. His presence in the penalty box coupled with Conte’s back three has given Chelsea a platform to build from as we currently have the best defensive record in the Premier League.
If you had any doubts of Courtois recently, these would have been dispelled by an outstanding save against Manchester United with the game poised at 1-0 in Chelsea’s favour. As Marcus Rashford turned Gary Cahill inside out and looked as though he was clean through and would score, Courtois came off his line to close him down and made a fantastic block to deflect the ball away from goal for a corner that resulted in nothing for Jose Mourinho’s men. Chelsea won the game 1-0 and now head to Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham.
For any team to be successful you need a solid foundation to build a platform. Thibaut Courtois has now reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea and that really is fantastic news.