Chelsea backup goalkeeper Asmir Begović wants more minutes and he’s even willing to give up the opportunity to win a Premier League medal to do so. Chelsea however have just two days to work out a replacement, and given how that fruitlessly that search is going, Begović might have to bide his time until the summer.
Fortunately, he’s a model professional and thus will continue to work hard towards the common goal if Chelsea cannot find a replacement.
"My future is something that will be sorted out over the next couple of days - obviously the club decide. For me, it is about wanting to play. I find it very difficult, not playing for a long time and that's something that I would like to do. If the club would allow me to do that, under the right circumstances, then that's what I'll do."
"[Losing on a Premier League medal is] a tough part and I hope the team lifts the title and maybe I will be part of that. But it is difficult when you don't play for a certain amount of time and that overrides everything."
"I am a footballer, I like to play and I came here to challenge myself. I have enjoyed everything so far and if I am still here then I will continue to work hard and that's all I can do."
"If [Chelsea do not allow me to leave], I will continue to work hard and support everyone and the team. I have a huge respect for the manager and the club so they know my feelings and it is nothing other than wanting to play."
Whereas last season Courtois' injury and uneven form allowed Begović an almost split-share of the goalkeeping duties for the campaign, this season Courtois has returned to the scintillating form that’s made him one of the best in the business and limited Begović strictly to cup duty. He’s made just 5 starts all season, including Saturday’s win over Brentford.
Begović is too good to be a barely used backup, but that does make replacing him a tough task.
"Of course [I thought I could compete with Courtois], because chances to play for Chelsea don't come around every day and top clubs like this in general. When [transfers to a big club like Chelsea] come around, if you don't believe in yourself and don't think things can happen for yourself, then you shouldn't be in this game."
"I truly believed there was a chance and something could happen, and ultimately I didn't get as many games as I would have liked."
"Thibaut is on absolute fire this year and is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, I knew that, and I wanted to test myself against those guys. I feel like I am one of them but unfortunately no club is big enough to have two really good goalkeepers.”
-Asmir Begović; Source: London Evening Standard
At age 29 and rarely featuring for the Premier League winners, Begovic feels it is time to show more of what he is capable of doing.
"I am 29, 30 in the summer and I feel fantastic. I feel in such great shape that it would be a waste not to play and show people what I can do. I do believe that I can play at this level and show everyone what I can do and that remains to be seen."
-Asmir Begović; Source: ESPN
It is truly unfortunate that Begović no longer wants to be part of this squad and help Chelsea maintain our luxuries goalkeeping situation, but it is completely understandable as well. He’s handled himself with the utmost professionalism and honesty however, and he’s always come across as a very intelligent, and, dare we say, nice person in interviews.
As far as a potential replacement, Celtic continue to stonewall on Craig Gordon while AC Milan’s on-loan veteran Diego Lopez has no intention of leaving Espanyol. The newest unlikely name in the mixer is Brighton’s David Stockdale, who is one of the few goalkeepers anywhere in Europe to have more clean sheets than Courtois. Stockdale does not have a contract beyond this season, so he could be an option for the summer however.