It is hard to imagine Petr Cech playing for any club other than Chelsea after ten years between the Stamford Bridge posts. But the return of Thibaut Courtois from Atletico Madrid has finally forced the veteran goalkeeper to step down as the club’s number one, which seems to hint that he will exit in January.
Cech’s departure will be a sad day for Chelsea supporters, but right away Jose Mourinho cannot waste any time and must enter the transfer market for a back-up to Courtois.
The Belgium international was forced off with a head injury in the Blues’ last game against Arsenal only just over a week ago, and in the case another goalkeeper incident occurs, Mourinho will need to bring on an adequate number two.
Here are FIVE Petr Cech replacements for Chelsea to consider.
Mattia Perin has already been earmarked to replace Italy international captain Gianluigi Buffon once the legendary Italian retires, and last season’s performances with Genoa have only backed that claim.
At 21 years of age, the youngster will be perfect competition for Thibaut Courtois (22) in front of him. And while are both still growing, Courtois’ incredible experience with Atletico Madrid over the past few seasons makes Perin capable of learning from the Chelsea number one.
Highly coveted, the highly-rated youngster will not come cheap for the Blues (around £10m), but with the money they could significantly gain from the sale of Cech, Perin could be a great acquisition as the best back-up to Courtois.
Jack Butland is currently playing for Stoke behind Asmir Begovic, so the youngster still needs to prove himself in the top level.
However the 21-year-old is the captain of England’s U21 squad, and has also been touted to be in the running with Joe Hart as the Three Lions number one in the future.
He spent half a season on loan Barnsley and then Leeds United last year, which will give him the necessary experience if Jose Mourinho was to choose Butland to be back-up to Courtois.
Victor Valdes was heavily linked to Liverpool all summer, as he was released by Barcelona after running out his contract.
However a heavy injury to his knee caused the Reds to stall the transfer, and it looks like negotiations have finally broken down between the club and his agent.
In is peak, Valdes was one of the best goalkeepers around and sis titles – six La Ligas, two Copa de Reys, and three UEFA Champions League – speak volumes
The former Spain international is not a bad name to be registered as your back-up ‘keeper, especially since he would be arriving for free.
Seeing that AC Milan just signed him on a free from Real Madrid this summer, Diego Lopez joining Chelsea would be a long-shot but it is a possibility nonetheless.
The Spanish goalkeeper replaced Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas back in early 2013, but when Casillas returned from injury a few months later manager Jose Mourinho chose to keep Lopez in the Santiago Bernabeu goal despite the outrage from Los Blancos supporters.
Mourinho is a big fan of Lopez and with AC Milan so strapped for cash, a bid of £6million could even be enough to bring the 32-year-old to Stamford Bridge.
Young French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is already similar to many young Chelsea players, as he is currently out on loan from a bigger club in Paris Saint-Germain.
Currently playing with Ligue-1 side Bastia, Areola is another keeper touted to challenge for a national team spot in the future. The 21-year-old is already capped in all youth levels, but is yet to be called up to the senior side.
Areola could be purchased for around £5million, and can either be used as understudy to Courtois or, like several of his others team-mates, loaned out for experience.