On a recent charity trip to the Ivory Coast Jose Mourinho shut down speculation over the return of one Chelsea’s most exciting loanees, writes Tom Gillespie.
The Blues boss confirmed the 6ft 6in Belgian beanpole Thibaut Courtois will be heading back to the bridge for the start of the 2014-15 season.
The 22-year-old demonstrates confidence and ability between the posts that far outweighs his experience.
His impressive performances for Atletico Madrid have led to most football fans tipping him to go onto to be the best in the world.
So bringing him into the mix with Chelsea’s safest ever pair of hands is bound to cause a stir.
Chelsea legend Petr Cech is adored by Blues fans, having filled the posts for the entire Abramovich era.
The helmet-wearing shot-stopper has been pivotal to our clinching of three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, and one Champions League title.
At 32-years old I reckon the 6ft 5in keeper still has a couple of years in him, so what will happen when he goes toe-to-toe with Courtois for a place in the team?
It is hard to imagine the grizzled veteran or the promising upstart sitting it out on the bench, but come August one of them will be.
It seems doubtful Mourinho will have flown Courtois in to act as second choice, and if the Belgain brings his impressive form to the bridge it’s tough to see how Cech can bounce back.
Maybe one will play in the league while the other starts in Europe, but Courtois has already alluded to the fact that both keepers will only be happy playing in all competitions.
Cech would have had the support of old guard, but with Drogba long gone, and Lampard and Cole now out the door, the spine of Chelsea is gradually breaking apart and going in different directions.
Terry can only have one more season in him, surely....?
Mourinho is dipping into the Chelsea cashpot again to build a new team, and it appears Courtois is on the way in and Cech is on the way out.