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The Rebuilding Project - Analysis of our Squad Part 1: Goalkeepers

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What a game last night and another memorable Champions League encounter to saviour. However this doesn't hide the fact that the club needs to rebuild and a number of players need to be moved on as a part of this.

I'll start my analysis of the current squad and what I think we need with the goalkeepers -

Current Squad

Petr Cech - He's been criticised over the last couple of seasons and whilst I would agree he isn't the same player he was a few years ago, he remains a high quality goalkeeper.

What many people tend to forget aswell is that Cech is highly experienced but still only 29 which is very young in goalkeeping terms.

The other aspect to consider is that IMO we already have Cech's long term replacement in waiting in Thibaut Courtois but the club would be clever to learn from Man Utd's mistakes with De Gea and not to throw him into such a pressure cooker environment too early.

Over the next couple of seasons though Petr Cech should remain Chelsea's number one between the sticks. His experience will also be important in a rebuilding project which will see a number of experienced first team players move on, but a careful balance must be struck between experience and raw talent.

Hilario and Ross Turnbull - Both have acted as decent backup without ever threatening the number one spot in the team. The biggest worry is if Cech were to suffer a long term injury would either be able to step up for a prolonged period in the first team? My answer would be no, and therefore should the club be looking for a number 2 capable of such?

The biggest problem is finding a goalkeeper good enough to step up to number one, but is happy for long periods to be number 2. These are few and far between, and I think the only way is to take a calculated gamble on a younger goalkeeper who is happy to bide their time and mature under the wing of one of the world's best.

The Future

Clearly Thibaut Courtois is destined for big things. He is passing his first 'acid test' playing in a much stronger league than previously with flying colours, and at 19, has the potential to be the club's future number one, and we should build towards that.

The question is when will this happen. Courtois has been very vocal of the plan Chelsea has for him which is most likely to be another season at Atletico Madrid after such a successful season, followed by at least a season playing in the premiership. He seems happy with such an arrangement, already admitting he's not yet ready to play for Chelsea, and IMO another 2-3 seasons playing first team football and maturing as a goalkeeper will only benefit us in the future.

Possible Departures

I would allow Hilario to leave in the summer. At 36 and his contract expiring now is the best time to move him on. The other key factor being Turnbull qualifies as a homegrown player and with only 17 allowed at the club and English players costing a premium, it doesn't make sense to waste a non-homegrown spot with a backup goalkeeper.

Possible Arrivals

I mentioned above about the club requiring better backup to Cech, although in this current moment it is unlikely to be considered a priority area of strengthening. If this is not going to happen then the club does not want to waste a non homegrown spot on a backup goalkeeper that isn't really good enough for a first team spot if the opportunity arose. Whether this means Chelsea place confidence in Turnbull and promote one of our younger goalkeepers to third choice remains to be seen. I have been impressed by Jamal Blackman when I have watched him and think he has potential but he's even younger than Courtois and will at some point require first team football (out on loan) to develop.

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