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Domino-

13. Thibaut Courtois

Started by Domino-,

6,434 posts in this topic
Chelsea have a bad record with loaning out players: so far few of the youngsters that have spent time at other clubs have excelled. Daniel Sturridge is one exception. Could Thibaut Courtois be another?

Over the summer, Chelsea signed 19 year-old Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois from Racing Genk, the champions of last season`s Jupiler League. The sticksman barely had time to put pen to paper and pick up a few Adidas goalkeeper shirts with his name on it, as he was lent out to Atlético de Madrid. Since then, he has had a blinder.

Courtois has played every minute of Atlético`s season so far, four League games and one Europa cup match. In the process, he has become the Liga`s 'Zamora` (the keeper that has conceded the least goals): Courtois` net has been broached once.

And Atlético are delighted. They lost one young keeper over the summer, David De Gea, to Manchester United. However, they appear to have picked up an even younger one, Courtois, who seems to be doing even better. He is earning rave reviews in Spain, despite his youth showing the seriousness and serenity that belies his age. Courtois is a big lad, 1m93, but also extraordinarily agile. His gravity-defying saves are regular features on the matchday highlights reel of the national news.

Courtois has competition in the Atlético squad for the goalkeeper`s jersey, in particular with Sergio Asenjo a pretty good sticksman. It speaks volumes about the Belgian that, despite wearing a number 13, he has become Atlético`s number 1. With a single goal let in, he`s officially the best keeper in the Liga. Of course he`s also a modest kid, and when asked about this, he`s happy to share the glory with his team-mates. "It`s fantastic how things are going for me. I`m pleased to be the Zamora, but let`s not forget that I am because of the work of the whole team, not only mine. In games against Racing [de Santander] and Sporting [de Gijon] I didn`t have much work as my team-mates defended very well. There is a good organisation on the pitch and that`s why I`ve kept a clean sheet".

It`s worth drawing attention to Courtois` magnificent start to the season as he is a Chelsea player and a loan to such a prestigious club suggests great things. "It will be difficult to continue like this as the Liga is very strong. Now we play against Barça [Atlético visit FC Unicef tomorrow night] and there are very strong teams such as Valencia, Real Madrid and Villareal. I hope to keep many clean sheets, but it will be complicated".

One other of Atlético`s statistics is irritating: at the other end of the pitch, the Liga`s top scorer is Radamel Falcão. 5 goals in three games (despite the season being 4 matchdays old, he signed for Atlético after the season begun). And Falcão is efficiency made striker: 15 shots, 11 on target. 5 goals. And to think that he was linked to Chelsea shortly after his former coach, Andre Villas Boas signed for Chelsea.

Courtois gave an interview to a Belgian newspaper in which he said that apparently Chelsea have a career plan for the keeper: one or two seasons at Atlético, followed by another season loan at a Premier League club. At that point the player will be considered as Chelsea`s number 1, displacing none other than Petr Čech. If so, the good news is that Chelsea have a definite idea of what to do with this youngster, as opposed to the normal practice for Chelsea which is to send a player on loan simply because they don`t know what to do with him. Even better is the fact that the player himself appears to be a great, great signing and is making the most of his opportunities at a pretty high level.

But although Thibaut Courtois is clearly something special, is he really going to replace Petr Čech between the sticks? That`s the difficulty with goalkeepers: unlike the players in every other position, the opportunities are scarce.

In 3 years` time, Čech will have barely scraped past 30, which is far from being past it for a keeper. If all goes to plan, our Czech will have serious competition breathing over his shoulder. Courtois is already making waves in Spain, and it will be interesting to see how he fares this weekend in possibly the most demanding fixture of all: the visit to the Nou Camp.

http://www.chelsea.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=525484

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Chelsea have a bad record with loaning out players: so far few of the youngsters that have spent time at other clubs have excelled. Daniel Sturridge is one exception. Could Thibaut Courtois be another?

Over the summer, Chelsea signed 19 year-old Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois from Racing Genk, the champions of last season`s Jupiler League. The sticksman barely had time to put pen to paper and pick up a few Adidas goalkeeper shirts with his name on it, as he was lent out to Atlético de Madrid. Since then, he has had a blinder.

Courtois has played every minute of Atlético`s season so far, four League games and one Europa cup match. In the process, he has become the Liga`s 'Zamora` (the keeper that has conceded the least goals): Courtois` net has been broached once.

And Atlético are delighted. They lost one young keeper over the summer, David De Gea, to Manchester United. However, they appear to have picked up an even younger one, Courtois, who seems to be doing even better. He is earning rave reviews in Spain, despite his youth showing the seriousness and serenity that belies his age. Courtois is a big lad, 1m93, but also extraordinarily agile. His gravity-defying saves are regular features on the matchday highlights reel of the national news.

Courtois has competition in the Atlético squad for the goalkeeper`s jersey, in particular with Sergio Asenjo a pretty good sticksman. It speaks volumes about the Belgian that, despite wearing a number 13, he has become Atlético`s number 1. With a single goal let in, he`s officially the best keeper in the Liga. Of course he`s also a modest kid, and when asked about this, he`s happy to share the glory with his team-mates. "It`s fantastic how things are going for me. I`m pleased to be the Zamora, but let`s not forget that I am because of the work of the whole team, not only mine. In games against Racing [de Santander] and Sporting [de Gijon] I didn`t have much work as my team-mates defended very well. There is a good organisation on the pitch and that`s why I`ve kept a clean sheet".

It`s worth drawing attention to Courtois` magnificent start to the season as he is a Chelsea player and a loan to such a prestigious club suggests great things. "It will be difficult to continue like this as the Liga is very strong. Now we play against Barça [Atlético visit FC Unicef tomorrow night] and there are very strong teams such as Valencia, Real Madrid and Villareal. I hope to keep many clean sheets, but it will be complicated".

One other of Atlético`s statistics is irritating: at the other end of the pitch, the Liga`s top scorer is Radamel Falcão. 5 goals in three games (despite the season being 4 matchdays old, he signed for Atlético after the season begun). And Falcão is efficiency made striker: 15 shots, 11 on target. 5 goals. And to think that he was linked to Chelsea shortly after his former coach, Andre Villas Boas signed for Chelsea.

Courtois gave an interview to a Belgian newspaper in which he said that apparently Chelsea have a career plan for the keeper: one or two seasons at Atlético, followed by another season loan at a Premier League club. At that point the player will be considered as Chelsea`s number 1, displacing none other than Petr Čech. If so, the good news is that Chelsea have a definite idea of what to do with this youngster, as opposed to the normal practice for Chelsea which is to send a player on loan simply because they don`t know what to do with him. Even better is the fact that the player himself appears to be a great, great signing and is making the most of his opportunities at a pretty high level.

But although Thibaut Courtois is clearly something special, is he really going to replace Petr Čech between the sticks? That`s the difficulty with goalkeepers: unlike the players in every other position, the opportunities are scarce.

In 3 years` time, Čech will have barely scraped past 30, which is far from being past it for a keeper. If all goes to plan, our Czech will have serious competition breathing over his shoulder. Courtois is already making waves in Spain, and it will be interesting to see how he fares this weekend in possibly the most demanding fixture of all: the visit to the Nou Camp.

http://www.chelsea.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=525484

BigBlue likes this

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2 seasons at a top Spanish club and then a loan like the one Joe Hart had and he could be worth double what we paid for him.

The game against Barcelona kicks off in a few minutes, I'll be watching him.

Edited by Kostas

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