The old guard at Chelsea is slowly being dismantled. With Didier Drogba and Michael Essien having left to Galatasaray and AC Milan, it seems inevitable that other Blues’ legends may soon follow. Ashley Cole, another crucial player throughout Jose Mourinho’s first managerial stint at Chelsea, is speculated to be leaving at the end of this season, while John Terry is currently in the process of contract negotiation.
We can now add Petr Cech to the list of potentially outgoing Chelsea stars. Despite his satisfactory performances, the 31 year old Czechoslovakian goal keeper may be sacrificed so that Mourinho can keep their latest hot prospect at the club. That prospect is 21 year old Thibaut Courtois, who is presently on loan at Atletico Madrid. Having signed for Chelsea in 2011, Courtois has quickly developed into one of the world’s premier keepers. With 140 appearances for Diego Simeone’s Atletico, including a number of important Champions League caps, speculation is mounting that Jose Mourinho is willing to offer him the number 1 job at Stamford Bridge.
It’s a tough decision for the Blues manager; to retain an experienced veteran and risk losing out on a potential star, or take a gamble on a relatively raw player in the hope that he becomes one of the best in his position?
Chelsea’s policy of only offering 1 year contracts to players over 30 may play a part in making this decision on his behalf, surely, from Petr Cech’s perspective; a more secure employment elsewhere would be a sensible career decision? At 31, he still has many years to play at the top level, and his services would be sought at many clubs throughout Europe.
It will be sad to see another piece of the great Chelsea team of the 2000’s leave, but Mourinho must be applauded for his capacity to make hard managerial decisions, while maintaining his standing in the dressing room, and Chelsea’s position on the league table.