#1 Asmir Begovic GK by Steve Schmidt @SchmidtXC

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

It was a sad day for many Chelsea fans when the club announced the next player to wear the number 1 shirt for the Blues. While very few will be upset with the addition of Asmir Begovic, the departure of club legend Petr Cech was difficult to deal with, both because he appears to have plenty of good football left to play, and that he chose Arsenal as his destination.

As far as backup goalkeepers go, Chelsea could do a lot worse than Begovic. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has been one of the better keepers in the Premier League for quite a few years, and the only surprise when he finally landed at one of Europe’s better clubs was that he opted to do so in a backup capacity, as there’s virtually no chance he takes the starting role away from 23-year old Thibaut Courtois.

In some ways, Begovic is a better fit for Chelsea in a non-starting role that Petr Cech ever was. While the Chelsea legend was clearly the superior player, Begovic is younger, a bit cheaper, and qualifies as both homegrown and association trained, freeing up a valuable international roster spot for the Blues to use in the Premier League and Europe. Given that Jose Mourinho was forced to send Marco van Ginkel to AC Milan last season due to not having enough home-grown players, the switch seems likely to give Chelsea considerably more flexibility with their squad than they did last campaign.

On the pitch, Begovic is unlikely to have much of an impact this season, at least as long as Thibaut Courtois stays healthy. Mourinho is likely to give him quite a few starts in the League Cup, the Champions League group stage, and possibly the FA Cup as well, but it’s hard to imagine the manager using his backup in any of the club’s bigger matches as long as Courtois is still performing. His presence, however, should be comforting to Chelsea fans, as he’s easily the best backup goalkeeper in England, and quite possibly the best anywhere.

With any luck, Courtois will stay healthy for the full 2015/16 campaign, and Begovic will be forced to settle for just a handful of appearances. It’s nice to know, however, that the Blues are in good hands if that doesn’t happen.


We Ain't Got No History's 2015/16 season preview was edited by Joe Tweeds and designed by Graham MacAree. If you've enjoyed the work of the authors who generously donated their time to this project, please share with your friends and consider supporting The Chelsea Foundation as a way of saying thank you.