Chelsea have always been a great club in terms of investing in youth and developing younger players to the point where they are either sold for a profit or blooded into the senior side.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne are two contemporary examples. Both players have been away on loan deals, both players don’t particularly want to come back and Chelsea may have to decide who is most valuable to them.
Courtois has made it clear he wants to stay at Atletico Madrid in La Liga, where he has been creating a formidable reputation for himself as one of the best goalkeepers around.
The obvious value he holds for Chelsea is the fact he’s a natural replacement for Petr Cech. However, Cech is only 30-years-old and is on a contract, which doesn’t expire for another three years.
It’s unlikely that Courtois will want to spend a career permanently on loan in Spain, which places pressure on Chelsea to either bring him back and use him or sell him to give him some closure and clarity over his future.
It’s a difficult one for Chelsea to approach because top quality goalkeepers are not as readily available as players in other positions, which makes it all the more harder for the club to let him go.
Kevin De Bruyne has been playing on loan in the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen where he’s bagged an impressive six goals in 26 appearances for the club including a strike against Bayern Munich.
The 21-year-old has also voiced a fear of going back to Chelsea because there is no real guarantee that he will be included in first team plans as soon as he returns.
However, he fits the bill in terms of the shape the Chelsea side seems to be taking; small dynamic and creative players who are good in possession and know how to maintain pressure on the opposition.
It would be much easier for the club to release De Bruyne than Courtois because they club already has several players that play De Bruyne’s role in the side. He’s also easier to replace if the club needs to go out and buy a midfield man further down the line.
It’s a tough one but between the two of them Courtois holds more value because of the fact he’s a goalkeeper. However, it doesn’t sound like he’s keen on going back to Stamford Bridge at all.
Chelsea fans, who’s more important to your club?
image: © mikehamm