It's been a while since Thibaut Courtois was a 'new' signing. The young goalkeeper joined from Genk in 2011, but hasn't ever actually played for Chelsea even in pre-season. Instead, he's spent three years at Atletico Madrid, turning from intereting prospect into one of Europe's top goalkeepers. And now, finally, we get to see what he can do in a Chelsea kit.
And we also get his first interview as a Chelsea player. Only a few years late!
I think I’m an all-round goalkeeper but I know I can improve at everything. I am only 22 years old. I’m still young and I’m here to learn a lot off Christophe Lollichon, Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer. I just have to work hard and prove myself in training. We have to train hard and work hard together as one team. All I can do is play well and then hope the manager chooses me. It’s the same as for everyone.
When I signed here I had played for just one year in the Belgian league. I wasn’t anybody. In the last three years, I have been able to improve myself a lot and make my name in the football world. Now it is up to me to keep working hard here at Chelsea, keep improving myself and helping the team to achieve the things we all want.
This is a bit of an abrupt change from the quotes we were getting earlier in the year, when Courtois was making it clear that he had no intention of coming to Chelsea only to be behind Petr Cech. It sounds like he's either taken the idea of competetion to heart or is willing to give it lip service for long enough to get a crack at the first team, and that's really all you can ask when there's a serious positional battle between two good players.
Courtois is undoubtedly the top talent Chelsea have let out on loan of late, and the best part is that he knows he's nowhere close to what he could be. Hopefully we handle the goalkeeper dilemma well enough to have him stick around for a while, even if he doesn't immediately take Petr Cech's crown.