Thibaut Courtois draws more than his fair share of criticism, on and off the pitch, probably because he dared to displace a club legend and, more pertinently, doesn’t tend to sugarcoat his answers to the usual headline-hunting media. He’s also finishing a season with fewer wondersaves than his usual standard, but I suspect it’s mostly because of his media handling that he draws so much ire so quickly, even by Twitter standards.
It’s because of his willingness to give realistic answers that we know he still very much loves Spain and Madrid (after his three years on loan there at Atletico), for example, that he wants to eventually go back, and perhaps a bit sooner these days than before since his children live there with their mother. And Thibaut loves his kids, as all good fathers do.
Because of those intentions, when he says things about how he’s also happy to be playing for Chelsea, those tend to get ignored. And because of those intentions, when he says things about wanting to be paid at least as much as David De Gea, he gets the collective swift boot out of the good graces of the Chelsea mob.
That’s not to say that all anger is unwarranted. The soon-to-be 26-year-old has drawn out his contract talks for well over a year now with Chelsea and regardless of whose fault that is, we’ve reached a situation now where he is entering the final year of his contract and thus holds all the cards.
He’s never been one to really commit his future to anything in public, but just a few weeks ago did reveal that he wants his things sorted before the start of the World Cup in mid-June, regardless of whether that involves a sale, a new contract, or just maintaining the status quo.
“I have one year (remaining on his) contract and feel good at Chelsea, and at the end of the season we sit down together and set a good vision. I live there quietly and know that I will be at Chelsea next year as well.
“If I go to the World Cup with a clear idea, sign or wait another year, I have a free head at the World Cup. I am still proud to play at Chelsea and I want to achieve success.”
-Thibaut Courtois; March 2018
It’s of the latter arrangement that notable sh*t stirrers on Spanish radio reminded their listening public today, with some journalist relaying that Courtois is “willing” to play next season without a new contract (i.e. maintain the status quo) because his “desire” is to play at Real Madrid. None of those words are new when it comes to the world of Courtois, and they’re not even claiming a rumor (outside of the headline that simplifies and exaggerates) but like it happens every time, they’ve sent Chelsea Twitter into a meltdown.
“I have two years [left on my] contract, so far we have not talked about [a renewal]. Would I like to extend? Of course. I am very happy at Chelsea and if they wanted to continue with me, it would be great.”
”I do not see myself at Real Madrid. I see myself at Chelsea, I feel like I’m a key to the team.”
“No, [I will not be at Real Madrid next year]”.
-Thibaut Courtois; also March 2018
So that’s a bit boring, just another day in Courtois consternation, but it’s Wednesday and there’s not much else going on.
Let’s have a poll.
What would you do with Thibaut Courtois?
This poll is closed
Nothing — let him run down the contract without any protection over his future in case of injury/etc
Renew & give him the De Gea money — he’s not as good right now, but he’s one of the best available still
Sell and buy Alisson, Oblak ... or some crap English goalkeeper
Something more nuanced