Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois are on a collision course over the Chelsea number one jersey, with rumours abound that the highly-regarded Belgian is going to oust another Blues stalwart from the first-team picture.
Veteran duo Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have already been dispensed with this summer and speculation grows that head-guard sporting gloveman Cech is soon to follow, with Jose Mourinho favouring upstart Courtois as his first-choice for the coming campaign.
According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, Real Madrid are poised to capitalise on the uncertainty by making an offer for Cech, though the stats suggest cashing in on the more marketable of the pair might be a better bet.
He may be ten years his rivals’ senior, but at 32, the decorated stopper has got plenty of miles left on the clock and proved last season that his quality is not on the wane.
In 34 matches he kept a Premier League high 16 clean sheets, conceding at an average of 0.71 goals per match.
The watertight nature of the Blues’ backline reduced their dependency on him, but when called up on his concentration rarely wavered, or so an average of 1.53 saves per outing and 95 per cent claims success rate indicates.
Furthermore, he repelled a mean of 2.26 attempts before being beaten in league action last term.
Courtois’ digits are only marginally better than the incumbent Chelsea number one, yet the hype mongers are insistent upon his superiority.
His average saves to goal ratio stands at 2.73, while he’d typically concede 0.65 goals evey time he took to the field in Atletico Madrid’s title-winning season.
With 20 shutouts to his name, he wins the clean sheet off too, but the Belgium custodian playing in a less intense division with fewer competitors for the top prizes can be levelled as mitigation from the Cech camp.
Given the monster fees Chelsea have jimmied out of the wallets of those vying for the scraps from their table, should they decide to ship out Courtois over their reliable onion bag warden they easily cop another transfer fee north of the £30m mark.
This sort of money would not be forthcoming if Cech was their bargaining chip, but the negligible difference in their stats suggests that he’d do just as good a job in goal as the man set to usurp him.
Allowing him to carry on in favour of landing a fortune for Courtois will cater for plenty of time to source another heir to the Czech keeper’s throne, without compromising on quality between the sticks.