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Courtois relishing Cech battle

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By Joe Haining

Friday 01 August 2014

Belgian World Cup goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is looking forward to trying to dislodge Petr Cech from the Chelsea starting line-up, but also to learning from the Blues legend, reports The Daily Mail.

Thibaut Courtois

Courtois has finally returned to Stamford Bridge after spending three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, and recognised that he has a serious task on his hands to claim the number 1 jersey. “There will be a battle to be in the starting XI but that's good. It helps the players to improve themselves to play even better so that's perfect,” said the 22-year-old.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho is clearly delighted to have two goalkeepers of such quality at his disposal, despite the obvious selection headache it creates.

“It's a good problem for me,” said the Portuguese coach. “Thibault just arrived, he arrived as the best young goalkeeper in the world. They will fight and for me it is a good. I was never afraid to make big decisions. I prefer to make this decision than to have a keeper I don't trust.”

Courtois signed for Chelsea from Racing Genk in 2011, but was immediately sent to Spain on loan where he made 156 appearances in all competitions in three seasons with Atletico Madrid. Recognising the unusual nature of his situation, Courtois said: “I signed with Chelsea three years ago but because of the loan it took until today to have my first training session, so I'm really happy to be here.

“I gained a lot of experience (at Atletico) playing some important games. Every aspect of being a goalkeeper I improved myself. I learned a lot,” he said, acknowledging the importance of the extended loan spell.

Courtois recognised the stature of the man he is hoping to replace in the Chelsea team, but recognised the learning potential of working with a true goalkeeping great.

“Petr has had a really nice 10 years here. He's one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” said Courtois, who is fully 10 years younger than Cech. “Every goalkeeper can have a type of thing they are usually good at so when you see them train you can learn from them. It helps you during your training.”

It is reported that Mourinho will give the two goalkeepers one half each in the upcoming friendly with Werder Bremen as he mulls over the difficult choice of who to hand the starting berth to when the Premier League season gets underway in a few weeks.

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