Mourinho: Courtois is Chelsea's future
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he had an eye on the 'future of the club' when he picked goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ahead of Petr Cech for his side's Premier League opener at Burnley.
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Mourinho ended one of the most debated topics of the summer in English football when he opted to drop 32-year-old Cech for a teammate who is ten years his junior, but he insisted the decision did not mean the keeper who helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2012 could not fight his way back into the team.
"Petr is an amazing goalkeeper, but the difference between them in ten years and we think we have to make a decision about the future of the club and to give the goal to Courtois," Mourinho told Sky Sports.
"Ten years ago I had a similar decision to make when we had [Carlo] Cudicini giving fantastic performances in Chelsea's goal for many years. I made the decision for Petr on the season 2004-05 because I had in my hands a 22-year-old goalkeeper who could be in the Chelsea goal for years and years and years. This situation is quite similar.
"Courtois is my keeper for this game against Burnley. I don't make decisions for the season. Obviously goalkeeper is not a position you change match after match. You must keep a bit of stability, but this is about performance.
"Thibaut has to know that having a goalkeeper of Petr's level sitting on the bench demands from him high-level performances."
Mourinho stressed his hope that Cech would respond in a positive way to his demotion to the Chelsea bench, as he again insisted he felt comfortable having two top quality keepers in his ranks.
"I repeat I'm so comfortable and feel so safe to have these two goalkeepers with us. It is a fantastic situation for us," he added. "Petr is a fantastic professional. He only knew my decision this morning. He fought hard for his place all the preseason to put himself in a position to play.
"How does he behave? In a professional way, this is what we expect from him. He has always been a fantastic professional and I'm sure he will fight for his place. He will not sit in a comfortable chair and accept this decision. He is a winner and a fighter and he will fight for his place."